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  #1  
Old 03-02-2012, 11:39 PM
Esox Lucius Esox Lucius is offline
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Copyright warnings on YouTube: a scam?

A lot of people who've uploaded videos to YouTube lately, including me, are getting copyright warnings from a shadowy group called "Music Publishing Rights Collecting Society". It doesn't have a web site but from what I can gather, it acts on behalf of several music publishing companies.

I understand that they'd want to be vigilant, but the music in my video is copyright-free. There's a Dispute process to go through if you want to challenge the warning, which I did, and it was soon withdrawn, but it turns out that a whole whack of people are getting the same warning even though their videos have the user's own compositions, or music in the public domain, or even have no music at all, just talking heads.

Part of the warning says something like, "You don't have to do anything, but ads might appear in your video." Considering the indiscriminate use of the warnings, this appears suspiciously like a scam to increase advertising income under false pretenses. Without knowing any better, a lot of users probably go, "Whew, I don't have to do anything", and now Grandma has to watch an ad before she can see Buffy's birthday party.

So be forewarned, Dopers, and spead the word. Getting a copyright warning doesn't necessarily mean you're in violation of any rules.
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  #2  
Old 03-03-2012, 01:03 AM
Rachellelogram Rachellelogram is offline
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And using adblock with Firefox means you never have to sit through an annoying youtube ad again.
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  #3  
Old 03-03-2012, 01:14 AM
mhendo mhendo is offline
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You might be interested in this story.
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  #4  
Old 03-03-2012, 04:06 AM
Esox Lucius Esox Lucius is offline
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Thanks for that, mhendo. Just as I thought:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Consumerist.com
When YouTube's rather generous scanning system flags content as being close enough to the reference file, the rights holders can either block the video or make money off of it from placing an ad in the clip. So it would be quite easy for a company to upload a ton of small files of nature sounds — or any other common background noise — that they hold the rights to, and hope that the Content ID system finds something similar on a person's video.
Maybe Google will do something about this, but right now, YouTube is making liars out of Brin and Page...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Google.com
Since the beginning, we’ve focused on providing the best user experience possible. Whether we’re designing a new Internet browser or a new tweak to the look of the homepage, we take great care to ensure that they will ultimately serve you, rather than our own internal goal or bottom line.

...

You can make money without doing evil.
Okay, put your money where your mouth is, Google.

Last edited by Esox Lucius; 03-03-2012 at 04:10 AM.. Reason: added to quote
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  #5  
Old 03-03-2012, 04:08 AM
Esox Lucius Esox Lucius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelellogram View Post
And using adblock with Firefox means you never have to sit through an annoying youtube ad again.
That just treats the symptom, not the disease.
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  #6  
Old 03-03-2012, 12:19 PM
Michael63129 Michael63129 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esox Lucius View Post
That just treats the symptom, not the disease.
I use Adblock too and some sites get upset over that with a notice telling me to turn it off (but less annoying than ads; some sites supposedly block you if you use Adblock but I have never encountered one yet, except for this one).

Also, on YouTube copyright warnings, I occasionally come across videos that tell me that I can't view them because they are blocked in my country (U.S.) due to copyright claims from Sony, Warner, etc, (but why they just block the U.S. and not take them down seems weird); one example here.
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  #7  
Old 03-03-2012, 12:20 PM
Rachellelogram Rachellelogram is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esox Lucius View Post
That just treats the symptom, not the disease.
Who cares? Unless you have the ability to change the way Google does business, it's the ONLY way to treat the symptom.
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  #8  
Old 03-04-2012, 07:57 PM
Esox Lucius Esox Lucius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelellogram View Post
Who cares? Unless you have the ability to change the way Google does business, it's the ONLY way to treat the symptom.
In this case, I don't like the way they're doing business. If I can do something about, fine. If not, at least I tried.

It might be that the head honchos at Google aren't aware of it, or at least not the extent to which the practice is faulty or being abused, and just need to be alerted to it.
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  #9  
Old 03-04-2012, 08:23 PM
Esox Lucius Esox Lucius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael63129 View Post
I use Adblock too and some sites get upset over that with a notice telling me to turn it off (but less annoying than ads; some sites supposedly block you if you use Adblock but I have never encountered one yet, except for this one).
That I can understand, even as a Firefox user. I don't have a problem with a web site legitimately protecting its advertisers. The indiscriminate flagging of non-copyrighted material is another story altogether. That is not legitimate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael63129 View Post
Also, on YouTube copyright warnings, I occasionally come across videos that tell me that I can't view them because they are blocked in my country (U.S.) due to copyright claims from Sony, Warner, etc, (but why they just block the U.S. and not take them down seems weird); one example here.
I don't know for sure, but it might be because they hold the copyright only for the U.S. I don't think that owning the copyright in one country means it applies throughout the world.

Last edited by Esox Lucius; 03-04-2012 at 08:24 PM.. Reason: fixed quote tags
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  #10  
Old 03-05-2012, 10:16 PM
BigT BigT is online now
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I honestly view adblocking as the ultimate protest. I'm not just depriving you of the money I would normally get you, I'm also actually using your service and costing you money. One particularly egregious site I set up Firefox to automatically reload every second--not anywhere near enough to slow them down, but enough to keep costing them for every page view.

And I've not encountered any sites that block you from using Adblock that aren't scam sites, or at least host illegal content that can be found elsewhere. Blocking Adblock is not a good sign that your business is legit.
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  #11  
Old 03-05-2012, 10:20 PM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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I've had YouTube claim that music I recorded that was written in the year 1600 was copyrighted. I've had them claim that sounds I created were a violation. I've had them claim many similar bogus things. Every one that I have disputed has come back with a "We're sorry" and they remove the claim.

I can only assume they are looking for idiots and pushovers. How they make money on this, I don't know.
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  #12  
Old 03-06-2012, 05:06 PM
Esox Lucius Esox Lucius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
I can only assume they are looking for idiots and pushovers. How they make money on this, I don't know.
From what I've found out so far, this is how it works: music publishers have provided a data base of their property, and uploaded videos are compared to it. When a match is found, the publisher can order the video taken down, or it can leave it up and collect a royalty, payable by YouTube which covers the cost by placing ads on the video.

So far, so good. Users are allowed to use copyrighted music if they agree to the ads, and music publishers maintain control over their property. But because the system is automated, false positives happen occasionally (I would dispute the word "occasionally", but that's their story), and that's why there's a Dispute process for users.

The publishers' data base includes nature CD's, and that's why videos with birds singing in the back yard, even just in the background, and waves washing on shore get flagged. Videos with only talking heads have been flagged, presumably because there are some spoken word properties in the publishers' data base (audio books maybe?).

It's obvious that the software isn't sophisticated enough to distinguish very well between the publishers' material and the random sounds on videos, or even music. I'm not saying--yet--that they're abusing the system to create unjustified royalty payments, but the potential is certainly there. There must be a lot of innocent users who gasp at the warning, then are relieved to see "You don't have to do anything" and allow ads to appear with their videos.
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  #13  
Old 03-06-2012, 06:55 PM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esox Lucius View Post
It's obvious that the software isn't sophisticated enough to distinguish very well between the publishers' material and the random sounds on videos, or even music. I'm not saying--yet--that they're abusing the system to create unjustified royalty payments, but the potential is certainly there. There must be a lot of innocent users who gasp at the warning, then are relieved to see "You don't have to do anything" and allow ads to appear with their videos.
Actually, the software is extremely sophisticated and can detect copyrighted songs recorded by different artists than the original. They are not just matching a recording byte-for-byte. The problem happens where the copyright holders try to assert control over too large a territory and sometimes include stuff they have no right to at all. I think most of it is bluff; if you don't complain, they think they have won. Which is why I challenge the most egregious claims, and so far, they have always backed down.
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  #14  
Old 03-06-2012, 08:34 PM
Esox Lucius Esox Lucius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
The problem happens where the copyright holders try to assert control over too large a territory and sometimes include stuff they have no right to at all. I think most of it is bluff; if you don't complain, they think they have won.
Okay, however they make their claims, that's the part that gets me. It smacks of taking advantage of the innocent or unwary.

In your disputes, how much information do you give? In mine, I just said, truthfully, that the music was from a royalty-free stock library. I didn't give the title of the cut or the name of the library. You'd think they would want to check on that, but apparently they didn't and accepted my dispute without question, almost as if they knew they were wrong and just conceded when I challenged.
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