Universal Music Takes Down Maroon 5's Own Video With A Copyright Claim

from the nice-work,-geniuses dept

This seems to happen every few months or so, but once again, a record label is causing a big name musical act to have its own video blocked from showing up on YouTube. As you may have heard, Maroon 5 recently released a new single, entitled “This Summer’s Gonna Hurt Like A Motherfucker” — and with it, a video that has been getting lots of attention. So, you might want to go check it out on YouTube, but if you do that right now, you’ll be presented with this (ht: @RomanOnARiver):

Ooops. Yes, that’s Maroon 5’s official YouTube channel and the official video for their new single which has been getting lots of press attention and already had nearly 1.5 million views. But now it’s getting none, because the band’s own label has yanked the video via a copyright claim (most likely via a braindead use of YouTube’s Content ID system). The band is signed to Interscope, which is a subsidiary of Universal Music. Gotta wonder how that’s working out for them, if their own label is yanking down their own official video just as it’s getting lots of attention. Isn’t copyright great?

Filed Under: , , , ,
Companies: interscope, universal music, youtube

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Universal Music Takes Down Maroon 5's Own Video With A Copyright Claim”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
That One Guy (profile) says:

Ready, fire, aim!

With absolutely no penalty for bogus claims(automated or not), it would be surprising if this didn’t happen so often. Why care about checking whether or not you own the rights to something, or whether you’re going to be shooting your ’employees’ in the foot before sending out the takedown demand if there’s no penalty(for the one sending the demands) for getting it wrong?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Ready, fire, aim!

There are.
Universal has a bunch of 12 people whose sole job is to fire ‘automated’ takedowns (Spoiler: they’re generated by real human beings).

The aim is to take down rival movie trailers, music videos etc just as their own releases are coming out.

They fake 100% the automated takedown so they can say ‘ooh software error’ rather than ‘hey we’re abusing the law fuckers, and because we’re rich there is NOTHING you or the politicians we own can do about it’.
Someone still complains…they get the Heath Ledger / David Carradine treatment.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Nothing wrong

Other than the incredible stupidity of the move? Or the idea that the band had their own music, taken down from their own channel, yet again showing that when one of the major labels claim that they care about anything more than their own profits they’re lying through their teeth?

Other than those two things, not much.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Nothing wrong

The band might have a channel but iirc they signed over the rights to their songs to the labels. If the band uploaded it themselves it is completly ok to take it down because they do not have the right to do so like any other pirate that uploads music to youtube without owning the rights.

The major labels are companies and they have to make a profit. Publishing a song for free might decrease that profit (in their opinion according to the studies published). Taking it down is just good business.

( I guess I should add some /s or something but not sure which one. )

CK20XX (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Nothing wrong

Actually it’s bad business. It’s like locking your children up in the basement out of fear that they might get hurt out in the world. You’re only robbing your IP of value when you remove it from circulation and keep people from learning about it. People will just find their entertainment elsewhere and ultimately forget about the content you previously tried to offer. They’re even likely to find far better deals on similar products elsewhere.

Obscurity is always a far greater threat than poverty because the former directly leads to the latter. You can either keep your content available with the chance that you might not be making money from some people, or you can take it down and definitely not make any money off of it whatsoever.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Nothing wrong

They uploaded it. if they didn’t want it up, they could have removed it from their account.

But, that’s not what happened, no matter how you try to spin it. They screwed themselves with their own anti-piracy measures. Yet, they expect us to believe that everyone caught by this system is a pirate, not an innocent or independent artist screwed in the same way.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Nothing wrong

Nah, they’re not that clever. Hanlon’s Razor and all that.

I prefer the idea posited below – they accidentally put it on the main Maroon 5 channel instead of the band’s VEVO channel, and some admin monkey tried to remove it via the DMCA tools instead of the normal account options and/or asking YouTube to move it to the correct one.

The funny thing is that the actual reason is irrelevant to the point at hand. However it happened, UMG managed to issue a copyright takedown on its own content. If a video with 1.5 million views by a world famous chart-topping band can be taken down from its own channel by a mere clerical error, what hope do other innocent victims have against intentional abuse?

In fact, if you want an actual conspiracy theory, how many potentially huge up and coming indie acts have been killed by similar actions, only not enough people know about them for their stories to get noticed? What’s more likely – killing a hugely successful video to generate more publicity for a multi-platinum world famous band via stories about the label’s incompetence, or blocking the ability of a talented indie artist to get ahead without signing to an RIAA label?

Dirk Belligerent (profile) says:

UMG's robots dealt me a copyright strike last weekend. F*ckers!

I woke up Saturday to a notice from YouTube that I had a video taken down due to a claim by UMG and I had a strike on my account. Huh?

What had happened was waaaaaaaaaaaay back in 2008, I’d bought a Flip camera and shot footage in Toronto of dogs playing in a park. I cut a single 3-minute shot into a minute-long video called “Puppies Play In Toronto” on my new Dell laptop. It was the first video I’d ever made.

To have some music, I just grabbed a track that came with the computer. I think I even credited the artist, Karsh Kale (whoever that was), on my video. Uploaded it and forgot about it.

Jump ahead six months and I get a message through YT from Karsh Kale complaining that I’d used his music and take it down and wah wah wah. I apologized, explained where I’d gotten the music and (I thought) hid the video. I then recorded an original piece of EDM and laid it on the video, reuploading it as “Puppies Play In Toronto (F.U.K.K. Version)” So AFAIK the offending track is down, my music is up, life is good.

Many, many, MANY videos that use music are matched and tagged in the credits, but for some reason after all these years, UMG has dinged my account because gawd forbid the music they gave away with every fraking computer in 2008 ended up in a video, credited.

I was going to get the video by my YouTube page had a giant WARNING page I had to acknowledge and now I have to watch a video called Copyright School and take a quiz before I can watch anything. I can’t post long videos and do annotations for six months, too. Jerks.

yep says:

I once had my site shut down by the RIAA because a DJ on the site dared to remix Beatles songs. It was about 20 songs. Each song had a separate download link.

I changed all of those links from links to the files, to links to the “Larry Lessig: Laws that choke creativity” video so people would know why I had to remove the links.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

No… that suggests that it was taken down by a DMCA notice and not by ContentID, as the ContentID system should have picked up the other videos first (IIRC, YouTube exempt certain accounts from automated takedowns).

UMG and other labels are well known to farm their DMCA activity out to 3rd parties with poor quality control, and this would not be the first time a major corporation has had a DMCA notice sent against its own content. Documenting them here helps show how flawed the system is, despite the labels’ insistence that it’s easy to perfectly identify and remove infringing content.

RD says:

Not a bug.

Everyone here is going on and on about how this shows all the flaws of copyright and Youtube’s content ID system. You people aren’t getting it. They are operating EXACTLY as designed and desired. Unlimited, unchallenged, zero-penalty takedowns of any content Big Media doesn’t like. That can be anything, from music to movies, to your own personal videos and *especially* any speech that is deemed to be squashed.

It’s a feature, not a bug.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Not a bug.

So, you’re saying that Big Media doesn’t like its own content?

Altough I’m sure it’s not the case here, have you ever heard of whitewashing ?
It’s not like it’s never happened in the past before…

However back when the internet wasn’t a thing it was easier to “erase” old offensive or racist content and only archivists and journalists would know that any such “sordid” works a media company ever existed.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Not a bug.

Yes, but like you said, that was before the internet where things are far less easy to get rid of. This also isn’t a comment, it’s a commercial product that they’re trying to advertise and sell, a track on the band’s current album. They also had the tools to make it disappear from their account if they wanted to – few would have noticed and nobody would have cared if it had quietly been removed rather than the public announcement issued as above.

Nope, this is a simple case of the attack tools they demanded coming back and biting them on the ass.

Noah says:

I think this was a mistake

The video is up on Maroon5VEVO and when I looked up Maroon 5’s channel it’s all a bunch of concert footage and remixes. I’m fairly sure the video was simply uploaded to the wrong site. While this is incredibly stupid, I don’t think it’s evil.

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: I think this was a mistake

No, if you look at most major artists they will have a VEVO channel for their music videos, and sometimes (but not always) another channel for everything else. The reason? VEVO is a service owned and operated by Universal (among others, including Google) for the express purpose of streaming music videos. It was up there because they intended it to be there.

Even if they did need to take it down, they has the tools in their own account that would just remove it from their offered videos, without such an error message being seen.

We are still talking stupidity here, it’s just stupidity of the entire system rather than a simple clerical error.

How about we all stop trying to come up with excuses, and accept that this is yet another sign of a hopelessly broken system with unacceptable collateral damage.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: I think this was a mistake

Ah, OK I might have misread your comment, yeah maybe they did want it on the VEVO channel instead.

But… if that is the case it’s still idiotic. Not only did they use completely the wrong tool to remove it, but they waited until it had been seen well over a million times before correcting the error. If the normal Maroon5 channel was serving ads or otherwise being monetised, they’ve also lost themselves a revenue stream which was not causing any issues elsewhere.

It still indicates a broken system – if they can “accidentally” issue a takedown notice against their own content, and the content is removed as result, what hope is there for others whose own uninfringing content is “accidentally” targeted by them?

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...