YouTube Copyright Claims

Posted: 11/27/2012 4:09:41 PM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

I noticed recently that a number of claims of copyright violation had been filed by supposed copyright owners against several of my YouTube videos that were clearly in the public domain. Performances of theremin transcriptions of Handel, Satie, and other long-dead composers had claims of violation of copyright ownership appended to them.

While this does not involve any threat to YouTube use or membership, it is a nuisance and it is fraudulent. If you click on the claim link, there is an option to challenge the claim so, out of curiosity, I decided to do just that. I wrote out the following form email statement contesting copyright claims, and sent the message to YouTube:

"Composer [fill in name of composer] died in the year [fill in year of death] so the work in question is indisputably in the public domain. The musical accompaniment and arrangement on this recording were written and performed by me in my own recording studio, and were not borrowed or "lifted" from anyone else's work. No individual or corporate entity has any legitimate claim for copyright protection in regard to either the audio or video portions of this performance."


Within seconds of sending these emails to YouTube, I received the following confirmation that the claim of copyright violation had been removed.



One or more music publishing rights collecting societies has reviewed your dispute and released its copyright claim on your video, "XXXXXXXX". For more information, please visit your copyright notice page

- The YouTube Team


What is puzzling about this is that the response was instantaneous and no "publishing rights collecting society" could possibly have had time to receive and review my claim. YouTube's reply was clearly automated. Nevertheless, the copyright infringement warning was immediately removed.

Just to complicate things further, YouTube videos that clearly ARE copyright violations, such as the unauthorized recording of any published work by a composer who has not been dead at least 70 years, seem to pass unnoticed by publishers.

What's with these guys anyway??




Posted: 11/27/2012 5:53:51 PM

From: In between the Pitch and Volume hand ~ New England

Joined: 12/17/2010

One of mine certainly didn't pass unnoticed. I recorded "No One like you" from the movie "Powder" and it took 1 month for them to yank the video off my channel. I tried the claim dispute cause I wanted to use it as a "teaching tool". Haha, that didn't work.

There is a Bot that scans all the videos that are uploaded. There is several ways to trick the bot like added noises, claps, a long intro etc... But I certainly kow how frustrating it is for you to deal with this. Are claims on older videos you uploaded or more recent ones?

Posted: 11/27/2012 6:47:37 PM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

I have far too many videos on YouTube (just short of 60 of them!) and should delete most of them. Problem is, whenever I do that I get emails from people who have embedded the videos on their websites, asking me to put them back. Copyright violation claims have been made against both old and new material - the vast majority of them illegitimate.

The only time I have been asked to delete a video was when I posted a short clip from ELECTRONIC ODYSSEY of Samuel Hoffman playing SOMEDAY MY PRINCE WILL COME for the Mickey Mouse Club television show. My version consisted of Samuel Hoffman (circa 1956) at the beginning of the video fading into 'yers trooly' playing the same song on the same RCA theremin nearly 60 years later. 

The biggest hassle with YouTube theremin videos is deleting comments that make references comparing theremin playing to "wanking" "fapping" etc. etc. I don't like to disable comments altogether, and think people should feel free to express themselves but that means I have to keep an eye on what people say. I don't care if they say some piece of music is crap. That's what comments are for. When commenters start making sophomoric references, or start troll fights and calling each other names, then I delete them.


Posted: 11/27/2012 10:07:14 PM

From: Hillsborough, NC (USA)

Joined: 2/13/2005


Posted: 11/27/2012 11:47:13 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

I just can't believe how many suits make a living grifting off of the music industry.

Posted: 11/28/2012 12:30:10 AM

From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U.K. ................................... Fred Mundell. ................................... Electronics Engineer. (Primarily Analogue) .. CV Synths 1974-1980 .. Theremin developer 2007 to present .. soon to be Developing / Trading as . ...................................

Joined: 12/7/2007

"I just can't believe how many suits make a living grifting off of the music industry" - Dewster

Yeah -

Some real interesting questions come up (for me) when reading the above (particularly the "copyrighted" bird song)...

- If I understand things correctly, when a "copyright infringement" occurs, FU-Tube claims the "right" to insert advertisements before your video is played... The revenue from these adds then goes to the "copyright holder"..

Really? ?? What percentage goes to the (often fraudulent) "copyright holder" and what percentage goes to FU-Tube?

I am no lawyer - so what follows may be BS..

I know that technically one probably has no recourse in law - You are not paying for the "service" provided, and they could impose advertising on every video if they wanted.. But I still wonder if there's some legal principle which is being violated by them accepting the claim of "ownership" from some (supposedly) independent entity, and failing to act on a challenge to this claim by someone who ACTUALLY has more rights to the published item than the fraudulant claimant.

For example - If a phoney claim is made for a work you have published, and money is paid (as a result of advertising or whatever) to the fraudulent claimant when in fact YOU are the copyright holder, I believe that one could sue this claimant for damages (as in, that the advertisment detracted from your presentation, or that the fact that there was advertising mislead people into believing that your work was not your original) and certainly recover any wrongfully recieved money they obtained through their fraud - If the fraud is shown to be deliberate, this could lead to a criminal prosecution of the fraudster.

Alone, such an action would be futile (unless one had just won a massive lottery and had a large legal team at your disposal).. But if a large number of victims were to get together and initiate a collective action, not against FU-Tube, but against a specific entity frequently engaging in such fraud, it could be interesting...

I wonder what FU-Tubes reaction would be if one posted a video there calling others to join such an action? ;-)


Posted: 11/29/2012 11:52:06 AM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

There are many videos on YouTube denouncing fraudulent copyright claims and suggesting different ways of avoiding such claims but if you watch any of them they appear to have been posted by angry adolescents unable to formulate a sentence without references to either the sex act or excrement.

I doubt YouTube would have any objection to the posting of a video urging others to join a class action lawsuit against YouTube itself, but I also doubt that such a plea would be successful. It is unlikely that the vast majority of YT users even know what a class action lawsuit is, and among those who do most probably don't care.

This morning I noticed that someone lifted one of my theremin videos and re-posted it onto their own channel. My name and credits have been edited out, and there is no acknowledgement of origin. Technically, since the video is an original work by me, I own the copyright on it and I suppose that I could file a claim against it and insist that it be removed. 

If I may quote Rhett Butler, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

Posted: 11/29/2012 5:31:30 PM

From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U.K. ................................... Fred Mundell. ................................... Electronics Engineer. (Primarily Analogue) .. CV Synths 1974-1980 .. Theremin developer 2007 to present .. soon to be Developing / Trading as . ...................................

Joined: 12/7/2007

"It is unlikely that the vast majority of YT users even know what a class action lawsuit is, and among those who do most probably don't care." - Coalport.

Yeah - You are right.

The birds whose composition was fraudulently claimed, well, they aint going to know how to initiate a class action.. And even if they could, im sure they dont care...

I suppose that in a world where pharmaceutical companies are obtaining patents on gene sequences produced by evolution, law can clearly be seen for what it is - it has nothing to do with "justice" - it is simply a mechanism by which those with power can bully those with less power.

And to some extent at least its always been this way - its just that its getting bolder and is no longer even bothered about keeping up the pretence of justice.


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