Major Labels Claim Copyright Over Public Domain Songs; YouTube Punishes Musician

from the not-cool dept

We've talked in the past about how YouTube's ContentID system fails at fair use and the public domain -- whereby it is unable to distinguish public domain material. That has resulted in ridiculous situations, often where large companies with huge catalogs end up shutting down perfectly legal content. Sometimes it's crazy stuff like taking down a video because of birds chirping in the background, but other times it can result in public domain music being pulled down.

Musician Dave Colvin appears to be dealing with the latter, as he noted in a frustrated Facebook post about how the publishing arms of the major labels keep claiming copyright on public domain cover songs that he's been recording and posting to YouTube. The end result is that, even though all of these claims are bogus, YouTube is threatening to take away his ability to monetize his account, and have already disabled it on a public domain song.
I am fed up with YouTube. Several times I have provided evidence that my video "O Little Town of Bethlehem" is a Public Domain song and each time I get an email saying the song is owned by either Warner Chappell or UMPG or Sony. Now they have disabled my being able to earn any money for the number of times the video is viewed. We are only talking about pennies but no one "owns" a Public Domain song.

They now have threatened to totally disable my account from monetizing any of my videos because of multiple "false" claims of ownership. Since there is no way to speak to a human being directly, there will never be a way to convince them of the error of their ways....Fed up!
(And just to cut this argument off before it even begins: you can absolutely make money from public domain material, you just can't stop others from doing the same thing). Again, this isn't the first time we've seen this kind of thing, and it's a situation that YouTube really needs to figure out a solution to.

Filed Under: business models, contentid, copyfraud, dave colvin, monetization, music, public domain
Companies: google, sony music, universal music, warner chappell


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  1. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 28 Aug 2012 @ 4:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So you still don't understand what "quotation" marks around a word mean? You really can't be that stupid, can you?

    And the media all used "shill list" as short hand for the list, but also pretty much all of them admitted that there was no "there" there in Google's list.

    Finally, for all your claims of an "epic outing," everything Google said about me in their filing was already very, very public, so there was nothing to "out." Also, none of it involved even the slightest bit of paying us to write about anything on the blog.

    But you knew that. It's just that your pretty spectacular flop in "guaranteeing" SOPA has you so angry at anyone who helped stop it, that you will stop at no lie to smear us.

    And I notice the conspicuous lack of an answer about who funds your salary. :) Of course, of course...

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