‘Copyfraud’ and Youtube ContentID Abuse for Profit

One of the services we provide for our customers at musicloops.com is to make sure that the music we license is Youtube-Safe and will not trigger third party claims by other companies. I also personally follow up and resolve any claims that may arise when customers use our music in their Youtube video. I have been dealing with the issue for over 4 years now and am getting pretty good at getting these issues quickly resolved and also at making it very unlikely that issues arise in the first place.

I recently had an issue where a company simply called adshare and adrev with no real way to contact either company.

I since found out that
Adshare is GoDigital Media
Adrev is Audiomicro

You can read lots of horror stories and find out otherwise hidden contact emails for many of the people at these companies so that you can ask to have their claims removed from your video.
http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/youtube/42xLenp36Co

Here is a link to an article that talks about one innocent Youtube uploader who was told that his video of natare (with absolutely no music used, only the existing nature sounds in the background) was somehow owned by Rumblefish and that they owned the nature sounds the video this youtuber had recorded.
http://www.wired.com/business/2012/02/opinion-baiodmcayoutube/

This article talks about Youtube Copyfraud and how some companies are earning revenue from public domain content
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120827/22533320172/major-labels-claim-copyright-over-public-domain-songs-youtube-punishes-musician.shtml

This is an amazing article and wesbite that lays out all of the problems and also names and shames many of the companies that are making all of these false claims on legal uses of music in youtube videos.
There is an update at the top which explains some of the recent changes to the system that Youtube has implemented. In my experience these changes and updates have made my job a bit easier in getting these false claims removed from our clients videos.
http://fairusetube.org/youtube-copyfraud

The reason for this post is to simply explain that this problem is not isolated to some royalty free music site and composer but is a premeditated effort on the part of some nefarious companies to earn revenue on music that they have no right to earn revenue from.

The fight goes on.

- Mark Lewis
PartmersInRhyme.com and MusicLoops.com

  • http://twitter.com/t_reimnitz Thorsten Reimnitz

    Thanks for this article, now I understand what happened to me. I once used a royalty free piece of music from a CD – and it was marked by Youtube for copyright reasons. The video was still available, but I could not get Adsense money from it. So I took some research and found out, that someone mashed up the royalty free music I was using with some other music (it sounded horrible and completely out of place) and put it in the Youtube’s database as “copyright protected”. Then the automatic copyright search machine claimed that the piece I use was copyright protected. I told my case to Youtube and they said that they do not take part in these discussions, I have to clear it with the company making the claim. I felt left alone in that case, because as a small video producer I’m in a weak position. What should I do against someone who just says “This is MINE!” and Youtube saying: “Sorry, we’re not interferring”?
    So it’s interesting to hear that this was something that’s not only happening to me, but that there are many variations of these false claims.

    • Partners In Rhyme

      Yes, this is a problem we have had on 3 or 4 occasions where someone has taken our music and then played an electric guitar solo over the top and turned around and tried to copyright the results as his own music. We found out via Youtube ContentID and were able to threaten both him and CD Baby until they removed they illegally distributed music. It was a major hassle though.
      This issue I think was just sheer ignorance on the part of the person who decided to copyright music he did not write.

      We also had a major problem where a composer was hired to write music for a relaxation CD for a record label in France. Instead of actually writing the music though he bought music from our site and then resold it to the record label claiming that he wrote it. After a few letters from our lawyers we were also able to get this issue cleared up and all illegal distributions removed from IODA, eMusic and iTunes.

      I’ve just come to accept this as part of doing business these days.

      -Mark Lewis
      Partners In Rhyme

      • Thorsten Reimnitz

        And now, 11 months later, I have the same problems as stated in the text: Copyright claims for YouTube videos from “AdShare”. Seems that nothing has changed since then.

  • Nigel Holmes

    Hi Guys

    Just to report that I also have had a problem with your music being claimed by another party and stopping me getting Adsence revenue.

    HOWEVER… YOU SOLVED MY PROBLEM VERY FAST.

    I was hitting the brick wall that is YouTube (who did nothing to help) but once you stepped in, the problem was resolved. Well done and thank you.

    Keep making the music!

    • Partners In Rhyme

      Hi Nigel-
      Glad we could be of assistance and thanks for sharing your positive experiences.
      Regards,
      Mark

  • Mike Kirby

    Thanks for “explaining”! I just had a run in with rumblefish myself, and a third party claim on one of my vids. Luckily, I had purchased and licensed the music from you, and was able to link them back to the source, I also told them that I still have the original video .mts files backed up, and own full copyrights of that video, and if they did not remove their claim I would take further action.The claim was gone in less than a day. Funny though, this sounds like this rumblefish is particularly bad about false claims. YouTube gives users 3 copyright strikes. I’d be willing to bet no action is taken against a company that makes 3 false content ID claims though.

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  • Bernardo

    I had false claims put on several of my videos by IndMusic. In each case, the claim was on the music from a collection I purchased from Partners In Rhyme. Thankfully, Mark sorted it all out and got the claims lifted. In this case, IndMusic apparently acted on behalf of the composer without the composer’s knowledge and blessing. This stuff has really gotten out of hand – looks like the kind of thing class-action lawsuits are made of.