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-   -   Youtube False Copyright Claim On Music (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/taking-care-business/490071-youtube-false-copyright-claim-music.html)

Marcus Durham January 12th, 2011 02:01 PM

Youtube False Copyright Claim On Music
Last night I uploaded a clients new video to Youtube. They specifically requested it be made available via Youtube and who am I to argue? For all its faults its where the majority of traffic is.

As usual the video featured correctly licensed library music, in this instance a classical piece purchased from Premiumbeat and performed by the Apollo Symphony Orchestra (well known for their work in the production music field).

Imagine my surprise to wake up this morning to find adverts plastered all over the video on behalf of UMG music who claim to own the music track.

A quick check with Premiumbeat and I find UMG have no claim over the music and Youtube keep on pulling this stunt on various classical tracks that are not owned by a major label.

So now I'm faced with an angry client who has adverts plastered over their video (I've had to withdraw it for the time being) meanwhile UMG will cream off any advert revenue until such time as they admit they have no claim (and I guess get to keep the money).

I've sent emails to Youtube and UMG as well as instigating the formal Youtube complaint procedure. But so far all I've been told by Youtube is "All content owners have reviewed your video and confirmed their claims to some or all of its content: Entity: UMG Content Type: Sound Recording"

I'm all for people being able to protect their copyright but when some software misidentifies legitimate licensed music and then slaps adverts on your video (or withdraws it totally as can happen) its a bit much.

UMG may well hold the copyright on one performance of the track, but they don't own the one I've used. Indeed there is an example I dug up where a chap who performs Mozart on the piano and uploads the results to Youtube had exactly the same thing happen.

It's akin to buying a packet of biscuits from supermarket A. You pay for them, walk out of the shop and then supermarket B jumps up from behind, grabs you and accuses you of stealing their biscuits and tells you that you need to pay for them again.

Does anyone have any idea how to tackle this? I've emailed Youtube and UMG's licensing department. I don't want to change the track because (a) it could happen again and (b) that's just admitting defeat to a couple of large corporations that are acting as faceless bullies.


Andy Wilkinson January 12th, 2011 02:32 PM

What an unfortunate mess. You've explained it really well in this post so I'm sure the relevant e-mails are as clear as night and day to the recipients...but unfortunately these big companies might only respond to a well worded letter from a lawyer. No idea how much that might cost (I shudder to think) but I think that's probably your next move. I sincerely hope you get this resolved quickly and cheaply.

I hope someone has a better, cheaper and fast solution to suggest.

I too am very careful about using Royalty Free/Copyright Free music I've purchased licenses for in all my corprorate work and would very much like you to keep us all well informed on how Google etc. handles this. Thanks for sharing and best of luck Marcus.

Craig Seeman January 12th, 2011 02:47 PM

I had an instance a couple of years back where I uploaded a video I shot of a known recording artist performing his music and all my permissions were in place. Alas another well known recording artist rights holder claimed the music had been based on a song they recorded.

I disputed the claim citing as reference the original CD recording (as opposed to the live performance I had shot) as proof since that would have been disputed as well if that were the case.

I should make it clear that in my case they were disputing the song lyrics which appeared in my live recording posted to YouTube but also were used on the CD which the very same rights holder would have likely disputed if that were the case.

Within 24 hours my recording was restored.

If you buy royalty free music there should still be appropriate ASCAP/BMI and other documentation (there's publishing, recording, syncing rights) available from the company you bought it from. They should provide that information . . . unless they did steal the recording.

Marcus Durham January 12th, 2011 03:18 PM

I forwarded the licence to the copyright department at Youtube and also UMG. That was about 12 hours ago. I also spoke to Universal in the UK who were very nice but couldn't help. Premiumbeat provide all the documentation but its getting this in front of a human in authority who can agree with what I am saying. Youtube do a good job of hiding themselves and the music companies behind several brick walls.

As this is pressing I've now instigated a DCMS counter claim via Youtube. This is intended for videos that have been pulled altogether but I don't see why it doesn't apply in this situation. Someone else has claimed the content but instead of pulling it have decided to monitise it instead. So I had to fill out some scary looking forms that talk about court cases!

This happened to me once before, but I was lucky that on that occasion it was a company who were known for doing this and some searching revealed an email address. After a quick email the adverts were removed. They seemed to be a company who specialised in collecting "revenues" for people who hadn't actually asked them to collect anything!

While clients may demand Youtube because its where the most viewers are, that leaves us producers between a rock and a hard place. This is something that will only get worse and not better. While there are far better solutions (including self hosting), Youtube remains where the footfall is. Although it's getting to the stage that I am seriously thinking about other options. Already today I've paid for a Vimeo + account for my non-corporate work because the benefits look worthwhile.

$75 a year for a hassle free Youtube experience? Yes, I'd pay that. I've already lost more than that today from lost editing time.

Chris Davis January 12th, 2011 05:10 PM

I hope you're billing your client for this time. An old adage comes to mind: "You get what you pay for". The client wanted a free video host and here it is, warts and all.

Rainer Listing January 12th, 2011 05:53 PM

Rather than being defensive, I'd suggest sending them a letter of demand outlining any lost income and asking just for payment of your additional fees for the project, not including recompense for the bad publicity and damage to your reputation. You don't need a lawyer to do this. If they don't at least fix the situation immediately, go ahead and take them to court with a good "no win no fee" lawyer. If more people to did this these companies would go elsewhere. I think YouTube also would be on your side.

Marcus Durham January 12th, 2011 11:57 PM

Two identical replies from Youtube now, which both amount to "computer says no".

The first reply was to my original email, I then tried a DCMA takedown counter notification which resulted in the same response word for word.

I've now replied asking for a contact to appeal to UMG or someone in authority at Youtube, I hold out little hope.

Their reference to being able to dispute it directly on the page is incorrect. I did and it was rejected in minutes!


Hi there,

Thank you for your message. YouTube's Content Identification system has identified copyright content in your video and applied the content owner's policy to it. To learn more about the Content ID system and what this means, see
Content ID tool : YouTube Copyright Policy - YouTube Help

Specifics of the policy applied to your video are in the Content ID Matches section of your YouTube account at: http://www.youtube.com/my_videos_copyright

If you believe that this claim was made in error, you can dispute it directly from that page.

Please note that YouTube does not mediate copyright disputes.

In general, you must be certain that your video does not infringe someone else's copyright before you upload it to our site. We cannot make this determination for you as it's your responsibility to know the rules.

We suggest you refer to our Copyright Tips at YouTube - Broadcast Yourself., where we've provided some guidelines and links to help you determine whether your video infringes someone else's copyright.

You may also visit YouTube’s Copyright School, a self-paced guide to copyright terms and tools, found here:
Copyright School - YouTube Help


The YouTube Team

Marcus Durham January 13th, 2011 12:27 AM


Originally Posted by Chris Davis (Post 1606970)
I hope you're billing your client for this time. An old adage comes to mind: "You get what you pay for". The client wanted a free video host and here it is, warts and all.

But it's often not about the "free" part. Youtube is where the footfall is. You can have the best video in the world on a fantastic site on a really fast server. Fat lot of good if nobody sees it.

Youtube has an audience, and if we like it or not (and I don't like it) clients will ask for it because it will get the video seen.

Bob Hart January 13th, 2011 02:03 AM

The company which sold you your royalty-free music. Their product is defective. For one reason or another it is not performing as "royalty free" and you are now suffering losses of reputationally and maybe in the future financial. Maybe they have disclaimers in their sales contracts but product fitness for purpose is not being met as far as I can see.

The company may have bigger boots than you on your own. Maybe they can make YouTube see sense. If they cannot, then maybe you have a case against the company. The company might be interested in being joined in your legal action or it may run for the hills instead.

Patrick McLoad January 13th, 2011 08:26 AM

I agree with Chris. I would have advised your client to keep it off of YouTube altogether.
For clients, I always use Sonic Fire Pro. That way the music is never recognized, and you won't get ads and copyright issues. Your client should do their own hosting.


Craig Seeman January 13th, 2011 08:39 AM

Patrick, many major businesses use YouTube for viral marketing. It's a bit more than a "free" host.
If the music is correctly licensed than YouTube is at fault.
If I were Marcus, I'd throw this back at the company that he bought the use of the music from. Their music is near useless for marketing purposes if it can't survive YouTube's screening. THEY need to work it out with UMG and if they don't, you may have a right to request a refund since according to UMG, they've misrepresented the license you paid for.

Patrick McLoad January 13th, 2011 09:17 AM

Yes, YouTube IS a free host, and as a result, you accept whatever consequences that come along, right or wrong, good or bad, warts and all. YouTube can do whatever they want, anytime they want. YouTube is not a democracy. The client is looking for "free" marketing, and is now pissed about ads showing up on "his" site.

If the music was correctly licensed and purchased, then yes, he (the producer) has an issue with supplier of that music; one way or the other, he should get the issue settled. I haven't seen the contract and I don't know the agreement. But in the meantime, you have a pissed-off client, and it may be months before anything is settled with YouTube.

None of this would have happened had the client hosted the video on his own site. If "viral" marketing is so important for this "major business" client, then simply change the music track and put it on YouTube, to thrive amongst Lady GaGa updates and skate-boarding videos. In the meantime, host the original on the corporate site until things get settled.

You can beat your head against the wall all day long about what's right and wrong, but it's not going to solve the problem short-term. How about supporting a good local musician for an original soundtrack. Times are tough for those guys as well.

Patrick McLoad

Roger Van Duyn January 13th, 2011 09:44 AM

Here's the thread where I had a similar experience with YouTube: http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/taking-c...ic-rights.html

The issue was resolved. It was a matter of contacting the copyright holder and forwarding the license agreement to the proper person at YouTube.

Jeremy Doyle January 13th, 2011 11:33 AM

I think some of you aren't completely understanding what is happening.

The song is public domain. The performance is what is being licensed.

He is using one symphonies performance and recording and another group is calming rights to that performance.

It's a mess because the song is in the public domain.

Craig Seeman January 13th, 2011 11:46 AM

Not a mess at all. It's simple. Who owns the rights to the performance.

BTW even Smart Sound SonicFire Pro, which Patrick mentions, has well known classical music in their selection for purchase.

Marcus just needs proof from the company he bought the music from.

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