UMG Licenses Indie Artist's Track, Then Uses Content ID To Claim Ownership Of It

from the not-really-a-'dispute'-system-then,-is-it? dept

If nothing else, Universal Music Group is becoming a case study for everything that's wrong with YouTube's takedown system. Between nuking its own artists' official videos, targeting MegaUpload's video simply because it utilized some of its roster and using its direct partnership with YouTube to blow past any fair use considerations, UMG has been able to wreak a fair amount of havoc.

Its latest demonstration of its "my rights are bigger than yours" attitude towards IP protection has managed to yank someone else's creations right out from under their creator, as TorrentFreak reports.

Norwegian musician Bjorn Lynne… has had two of his videos hijacked by Universal Music Group (UMG) which is now running ads alongside his work.

“Can I just state publicly that I hate Universal Music Group. For the second time now, they have hijacked my music and claimed ownership of it in all YouTube videos that include my music, thereby monetizing my music,” Lynne writes.
Lynne isn't exaggerating. UMG owns the rights to an audiobook that uses one of Lynne's songs as a backing track. No problem up to this point, because anyone -- even UMG -- can use Lynne's tracks if properly licensed, which this apparently was. No, the problem is that UMG is claiming -- by proxy -- that it "owns" Lynne's track.
UMG have entered the audiobook in YouTube’s Content-ID system, and as a result they’ve hijacked the ads on the original video.
Which is why leaving infringement detection up to algorithms is a bad idea, even if doing otherwise is technically unfeasible. According to Content ID, the backing track belongs to UMG. That's a problem, but it's a fixable one. All it would take is for UMG to release the claim after having the error brought to its attention. But UMG clearly isn't in the business of resolving disputes. It's just there to claim everything Content ID says belongs to it, even when the content clearly doesn't.
“One thing would have been to have done this unwittingly, by mistake. But I have ‘disputed’ the claim on YouTube, written an explanation and told them about the origins of this music — then waited the FULL 30 DAYS that the claimant has to process the dispute, only to be told that UMG have reviewed the dispute and UPHELD their claim!” Lynne notes.
That's the process available to indie artists: sit back and let major players claim your stuff. If Company A rejects your dispute, the decision is final. In YouTube's eyes, the burden of proof always falls on the accused and the existence of proof ultimately has no bearing on the outcome. All the claimant has to do is push the "REJECT" button and someone else's ad money will be rerouted.

Lynee could fight this further, but it would take a stack of money and some ambitious lawyers -- neither of which most indie artists have at their disposal. The only thing UMG has to do is what it did: shrug and return to siphoning money away from Bjorn Lynne. The system works -- at least for the major players. For everyone else, it's just a matter of trying to mitigate the damage they can't prevent, much less reverse.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Mar 2015 @ 8:23am

    Must be nice to have a legal system that favours the rich instead of treating everyone equally

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 18 Mar 2015 @ 8:30am

    ...and they call piracy "theft"?!?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), 18 Mar 2015 @ 8:42am

      Re:

      so the system works?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Mar 2015 @ 8:42am

        Re: Re:

        It wasn't the 'system' that corrected anything it was public backlash. That's an example of the system not working.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Mar 2015 @ 9:00am

          Re: Re: Re:

          OK, maybe it's an example of the system working, though it's hard to tell the extent that public backlash had anything to do with it. Apparently the issue was ignored before public backlash but the appeal was successful after public backlash. Either way the system didn't work as well as it should have because it required an entire bureaucratic nightmare just to restore a video that should have never been removed in the first place. A working system should have never removed the video. Regardless, to repost part of the post

          "I have not had any communication with/from UMG, but what seems to have done the trick is that I used the "appeal" process at YouTube after I was told that my original dispute had been rejected by UMG. Going through the "appeal" at YouTube is a pretty scary process, because YouTube uses some very strong language to warn you that you may face legal action and/or your YouTube account may be shut down. I did it nevertheless, I was that hell bent on getting UMG to stop monetizing my music and claiming ownership of it.

          After a couple of days, I received notification from YouTube that the UMG claim against my video had been released. I think that the "appeal" process is the only thing that UMG takes seriously, because the way it works is that, if they still want to uphold their claim on the music, they have to issue a legal DMCA takedown notice and provide legal argumentation as to why they own the rights to that video/music. Obviously they could not do that, because the music was composed by me, and it was very easy for me to prove that. So it appears that, when they saw the appeal, they released their claim."

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 18 Mar 2015 @ 10:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I would hope after this he changes his licensing policy to include 'Never license to UMG or other major labels', or at least adds in a clause that if anyone who he licenses his music out to then tries to claim ownership of it they have to pay him something like $10,000(or the local equivalent), plus any legal fees.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Mar 2015 @ 11:19am

          Re: Re: Re:

          What "public backlash"

          And of course this article shouldn't even be up because the problem was already rectified.

          But then again, everyone already knows the real reason for the article is to try attempt to vilify labels in order to justify piracy. Which Techdirt loves, because it means profit for the biggest corporation in the US, and new king of gender bias, Google.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 18 Mar 2015 @ 11:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Ah, gotta love it. In an attempt to try and spin this as somehow 'justifying piracy'(it's not, but I can understand your obsession might make you think otherwise), you defend a label which attempted to claim ownership over someone else's work, and have all the current and future profits from it directed towards them instead of the actual owner, something even pirates don't do.

            Really, you just can't help but laugh when someone with such a blatantly pro-label, anti-artist bias accuses someone else of being biased against artists. 'Pot calling the kettle black' doesn't even begin to describe it.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 18 Mar 2015 @ 11:59am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              UMG rectified the mistake. Have you rectified your mistake of stealing from artists for years?

              I didn't think so.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Shadow Dragon (profile), 18 Mar 2015 @ 12:10pm

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

                Said the corporate shill,how much did they paid you troll here?

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 18 Mar 2015 @ 12:20pm

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

                Have you stopped beating your wife?

                To stop stealing from artists, first I'd have to start, so I'm going to go with 'moot question'. The crap they push out is just that, so for the life of me I cannot see why you'd think I'd bother getting it, 'free' via copyright infringement or not.

                There is plenty of actual quality stuff out there for me to enjoy, plenty of artists and creators I am happy to throw money at, due to the quality of their offerings, and how they treats those that buy from them, and as such I have no need whatsoever to spend money supporting rubbish being pushed by parasites, being 'sold' by companies and creators who see me as nothing more than a criminal who's only use is to give them money so they can treat me like crap.

                Oh, wait, no I know exactly why you think that, it's easier to dismiss someone by claiming that they must hold their position for personal, criminal reasons, than actually address their point(s).

                The point in this case being that a major label tried to claim ownership over someone else's work, and only backed down(after affirming their position once) when they realized they'd have to make a legally binding document if they wanted to continue to try and claim ownership, something that would not end well for them.

                Before it reached that 'legally binding claim' stage though, they were quite happy to claim ownership over something that absolutely wasn't theirs, and take all the money from it from the actual owner, something that smacks of gross hypocrisy when you consider how often the major labels scream about how terrible piracy is because it 'harms the artists'.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                JP Jones (profile), 18 Mar 2015 @ 12:49pm

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

                UMG rectified the mistake. Have you rectified your mistake of stealing from artists for years?

                I didn't think so.


                Did UMG pay back all the revenue they received from Bjorn's video during the period which they'd stolen it? No?

                Then the mistake has not been rectified. Also, to my knowledge, I have never taken a signal revenue stream from another individual or company for content I did not own, so no, I have not rectified any imaginary mistakes.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 18 Mar 2015 @ 4:24pm

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

                  The rest of the post is also worth quoting here.

                  "I'm still angry with UMG over their handling of this. First of all, they used non-exclusive stock music (which in this case happened to be composed by me) in a product and then entered that product into Content-ID at YouTube. This is explicitly against YouTube's Content-ID policy, which clearly states that in order to use Content-ID, you must fully own the content exclusively. Which they didn't. Admittedly, anybody can make a mistake like that, and I wouldn't have made a noise about it, if they had then released their claim when I disputed it and explained the situation. But they didn't. They waited the FULL 30 days that they are allowed in which to respond, and then they upheld their claim. That's when I got angry.

                  I don't know if UMG ever even looked at the dispute. Quite possibly, it is their policy to always allow the full 30 days to pass, and then uphold their claim, no matter what, knowing full well that the "appeal" process is so scary. In my opinion, this is speculative and legally questionable. Right now, they are probably monetizing hundreds of thousands of videos that contain audio that doesn't belong to them at all, deliberately and knowingly. It's the second time they've done this exact thing with my music (first, with my track "Mystical Pyramids" and then with "Kingdom of the Persians"). And, as one guy commented on this thread, these are the same guys crying so loudly about people copying their music."

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                JMT (profile), 18 Mar 2015 @ 4:44pm

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

                "UMG rectified the mistake."

                This wasn't a mistake. They upheld their claim when it was disputed. That's a deliberate act.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 1:16am

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

                  He's referring to the "mistake" of getting caught. I love these threads, when these assholes are defending the labels literally stealing revenue from artists, though. It really demonstrates their real mindset - they're corporate sycophants, not interested in the artists at all.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 1:18am

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

                "Have you rectified your mistake of stealing from artists for years?"

                Have you rectified your mistake of attacking figments of your own imagination rather than the real opinions and positions of those you attack?

                I didn't think so.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Shadow Dragon (profile), 18 Mar 2015 @ 12:03pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Don't feed the troll.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 18 Mar 2015 @ 12:23pm

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

                Eh, I've got some time to burn, and it's fun exposing their hypocritical stances.

                'Copyright infringement is stealing from artists! Claiming ownership over someone else's music, and claiming all the profits from it though isn't, as long as it's a major label doing the claiming, and they apologize after they get caught!'

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 18 Mar 2015 @ 1:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Rectified how?

            Have they paid the artist they stole from for his time? No.
            Has he recovered the ad revenue he was entitled to? No.
            Did they correct the issue immediately? No.

            So no, it wasn't rectified, and it certainly wasn't rectified because of anything UMG did.

            Love it how you're anti-piracy, right up to the point where you think it's alright that UMG did it with absolutely no consequence.

            I'd call you a fucking retard, but that would be an insult to mentally challenged people everywhere.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 1:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "And of course this article shouldn't even be up because the problem was already rectified."

            Cool, so anyone caught downloading will get the same treatment, right? Just remove any infringing files and apologise, and everything's fine? My bad, oops, we carry on as if nothing happened?

            ....

            Didn't think so. Breaking the law and literally stealing from artists is OK just as long as your masters are the ones doing it, right?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Mar 2015 @ 8:46am

      Re:

      For those too lazy to click through the link, the artist's theory is:
      Because he appealed, UMG would have to issue full DMCA documentation on the issue, which would clearly fold on contact with the facts.
      In addition, because they clearly didn't have all the rights on the property they do own, that they'd filed with the Content-ID system, they risked losing a lot more if they pushed this.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Mar 2015 @ 4:09pm

      Re:

      Anyone involved from UMG in this farce should be arrested and charged with fraud. Because if literally anyone else did such a thing, they would be in jail so damn fast that it'd be like Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Mar 2015 @ 8:41am

    Perhaps if the ACLU, EFF, or some other volunteer organization can represent the copy protection holder here and sue UMG to the fullest extent it would teach those responsible for buying our political system that these laws could work against them. These corrupt media giants create (undemocratically) create bad laws (they shouldn't be the ones creating laws) because they figure that individuals don't have the resources to leverage them against the media giants but the media giants have the resources to leverage the laws against whomever they want. If volunteer organizations that want the law changed for the better can represent the little guy and leverage these laws against the big players responsible for getting them passed perhaps they would think twice before lobbying for such laws. Might be the most effective way to get laws changed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 20 Mar 2015 @ 7:37am

      Re:

      Perhaps if the ACLU, EFF, or some other volunteer organization can represent the copy protection holder here and sue UMG to the fullest extent it would teach those responsible for buying our political system that these laws could work against them.

      I think the problem here is not that UMG broke the law, but that UMG did all this to the musician and yet didn't break the law.

      These corrupt media giants create (undemocratically) create bad laws...

      Exactly, so suing them under those laws won't help.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Mar 2015 @ 8:42am

    Suggestion to add a clause to the license invalidating it if they attempt to claim ownership on Youtube or any other site. They claim ownership you issue a DMCA takedown for EVERY single instance of their use, and send them a notice of termination of license.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Mar 2015 @ 8:48am

      Re:

      Actually that's a good idea. Add a clause in the license that invalidates the license if they attempt to do anything that may

      A: Get their video removed due to Youtube's content ID system

      B: claim ownership of the video when they don't have ownership

      If the video were ever to become removed from Youtube due to anything they did they are no longer licensed to use it. They are infringing for using the video themselves. Get a lawyer and sue them for insane infringement damages.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Scote, 18 Mar 2015 @ 9:10am

    Content ID should require holders to have **exclusive** copyright to participate

    Content ID should require holders to have **exclusive** copyright to participate. No content that is *licensed* on a non-exclusive basis, as is the case with the music in this incident, should be allowed to be claimed via content ID.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JP Jones (profile), 18 Mar 2015 @ 1:06pm

      Re: Content ID should require holders to have **exclusive** copyright to participate

      This is already required by Youtube.

      From the link, one of the things that cannot be registered with Content-ID:

      •music or video that was licensed, but without exclusivity

      So UMG violated Google's Content-ID rules when they added the artist's music. Too bad there's no actual penalty for doing so. The "loophole" they likely used was the fact that the audiobook itself was exclusively licensed. The system can't tell the difference between the exclusive audiobook and the licensed music.

      The reality is that this entire system probably doesn't involve a single human being until the appeals stage, if then. Even the 30 day wait and rejection is likely automated. That way, even if there was an error, UMG gets 30 days monetization for no effort. Since there's no penalty for a false claim, this is free money.

      Sucks for the artist, but hey, he's just one of probably thousands being screwed but too afraid or ignorant of the process to speak out.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 18 Mar 2015 @ 9:12am

    Lesson learned

    If you're an indie artist, do not license your works to any of the major media companies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      MrTroy (profile), 18 Mar 2015 @ 7:25pm

      Re: Lesson learned

      ... or to any stock music sites, or to any entity that might be acquired by any major media companies...

      Just like the recent Elsevier story, it seems like it's never that easy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    AnonJr (profile), 18 Mar 2015 @ 9:27am

    Wait, I've heard this one before...

    Is this a recent article or a retrospective? I don't remember hearing this artist's name as one of the big blues guys screwed by the labels back in the 1950's...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kenneth Michaels, 18 Mar 2015 @ 9:32am

    UMG et al. must die

    UMG, the RIAA, MPAA, etc., misinterpret copyright law to protect their business model. They lobby for new laws and treaties (intended to be easily misinterpreted) to protect their business model. They are about destroying anything and everything in their way to protect their outdated business model.

    They must die at all costs or they will take the Internet and all we love away in their efforts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 18 Mar 2015 @ 4:48pm

      Re: UMG et al. must die

      "UMG, the RIAA, MPAA, etc., misinterpret copyright law to protect their business model."

      'Misinterpret' is completely the wrong word here. They practically write the laws to benefit them above all others, then they twist, reinterpret or just plain ignore the law when they're not quite beneficial enough.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Mar 2015 @ 9:45am

    The article says,

    But UMG clearly isn't in the business of resolving disputes. It's just there to claim everything Content ID says belongs to it, even when the content clearly doesn't... That's the process available to indie artists: sit back and let major players claim your stuff. If Company A rejects your dispute, the decision is final. In YouTube's eyes, the burden of proof always falls on the accused and the existence of proof ultimately has no bearing on the outcome. All the claimant has to do is push the "REJECT" button and someone else's ad money will be rerouted.


    The artists said,

    ...I used the "appeal" process at YouTube after I was told that my original dispute had been rejected by UMG. Going through the "appeal" at YouTube is a pretty scary process, because YouTube uses some very strong language to warn you that you may face legal action and/or your YouTube account may be shut down. I did it nevertheless...


    So Tim you are misrepresenting "the system" here.

    Look, I hate the power that the Content ID system gives to the big players too, but lying about it doesn't help us.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Mar 2015 @ 11:21am

      Re:

      You're confused. Truth isn't the goal here at Techdirt; promoting piracy and making money for Google is the goal.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 1:34am

        Re: Re:

        "Truth isn't the goal here at Techdirt..."

        Yes, it is. Just because the truth is biased against your terrorist paymasters at the RIAA, doesn't mean that those who tell the truth are "promoting piracy".

        You need to stop lying.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Mar 2015 @ 11:40am

      Re:

      Nice misrepresentation there.
      The normal process doesn't work. That is the one with the 30 days response time from the defendant.
      Only after the appeal process was started where UMG has to bring in a sworn declaration they own the music to counter the appeal did UMG concede they didn't own said music.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JP Jones (profile), 18 Mar 2015 @ 12:11pm

      Re:

      It's not really a misrepresentation. The burden of proof is effectively still on the accused. This is because all UMG really had to do was threaten to go forward with the lawsuit and they would have "won."

      Why? The artist probably could afford even the initial legal proceedings, and UMG lawyers could have delayed until he couldn't afford to fight anymore. And even if it did end up in court (or, more likely, dismissed in favor of the artist) he still would have been financially ruined and UMG would be mildly irritated, if they even noticed. And, during the entire dispute and appeals process, UMG is still getting the artist's ad revenue.

      UMG got some money from the artist, had no penalty for the theft, and decided to walk away with what they took. Tim's representation is perfectly accurate; until the appeal and possible legal proceedings completed, the artist's ad money was being rerouted to someone with no copyright claim. And, even after the dispute is settled, there is zero penalty to UMG. Win-win for them, lose-lose for the artist.

      At the very least there should be some sort of restriction from takedowns or monetization for giving a false Content-ID notice. Something like preventing you from issuing new takedowns for 30 days. That might encourage companies to verify they actually have rights to something before stealing money or shutting it down.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 18 Mar 2015 @ 10:09am

    Which one of these was supposed to be 'theft' again?

    So let's compare:

    Piracy

    Artists doesn't get paid at that time, though they may be in the future. In the meantime, the money for the music from other sources remains intact.

    Licensing to major label
    Artists gets paid for his music initially, but then has it claimed by the one licensed to, killing off future income from in for the future. Only if the artist is willing to risk legal actions and/or their account can they 'reclaim' their music and the income from it.

    Oh yes, clearly piracy is ever so much worse... /s

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Mar 2015 @ 10:35am

    Yet you advocate: "sit back and let [minor] players claim your stuff"

    Which would be the case if let Megaupload, Rapidshare, Pirate Bay, and so many others monetize content they do not own, didn't have any part in making of, and pass on no money to the creators. Your doublethink is amazing.

    The actual revealing point here is "your stuff". -- Why doesn't what you acknowledge there -- OWNERSHIP BY CREATING -- apply equally to products of major labels? Again, you are simply self-contradictory.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 18 Mar 2015 @ 11:08am

      Re: Yet you advocate: "sit back and let [minor] players claim your stuff"

      Huh? I can't even find a single thing in your comment that approaches accuracy. Where is the contradiction?

      Megaload, Rapidshare, etc. do not and never have claimed ownership of content they don't actually own.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JP Jones (profile), 18 Mar 2015 @ 12:42pm

      Re: Yet you advocate: "sit back and let [minor] players claim your stuff"

      There's also a fundamental difference between monetizing something you specifically own ("your stuff") and something that you generally created ("your intellectual property"). It may seem like it's splitting hairs, but there's a HUGE difference between the two.

      In the case of file lockers, even if you assume all the bad things you're obviously assuming and ignoring how they actually work, at worst they are providing a new copy of something you created. If, for example, a musician sells their music on iTunes, and that song is available on Megaupload, their music is still available on iTunes. In other words, if someone chooses to do so, they can still pay the artist.

      In this case, however, it's as if Megaupload went into iTunes and took all the sales from the artist. UMG monetized the creator's own video, literally taking ownership of their revenue source. This is very different both emotionally (how it feels to have your stuff taken) and functionally (the artist's primary revenue stream was directly taken away).

      The reason it's "your stuff" is because UMG didn't make a copy of the video. They didn't upload a copy of the original video and monetize the new video. They took rights and money directly from the artist's original video and account. And, once they finally "solved" the dispute, UMG literally walks off with all that revenue and no penalty.

      There's plenty of other reasons why it's different, but that's the most obvious one.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Mar 2015 @ 5:38pm

      Re:

      out_of_the_blue can't stand it when due process is enforced.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 1:23am

      Re: Yet you advocate: "sit back and let [minor] players claim your stuff"

      "Which would be the case if let Megaupload, Rapidshare, Pirate Bay, and so many others monetize content they do not own, didn't have any part in making of, and pass on no money to the creators."

      While your attempt to defend corporate stealing from independent artists via misdirection is admirable, you forgot one thing.

      In none of those half-assed, misleading comparisons is revenue being directly removed from the artist. Some people might still pirate using those methods, but the artist can still get revenue elsewhere (or, in the case of Megaupload, the artist could also monetise his own music there).

      In this case, the artist's own videos had their monetisation removed and redirected toward UMG. They didn't just remove a potential sale or view - they redirected the views themselves and the resulting revenue to UMG.

      "Why doesn't what you acknowledge there -- OWNERSHIP BY CREATING -- apply equally to products of major labels?"

      Why doesn't it apply to the independent artist you're justifying being stolen from here? You people are getting desperate - stealing is OK, just so long as it's a corporation with no recourse for the artist, right?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 20 Mar 2015 @ 7:45am

      Re: Yet you advocate: "sit back and let [minor] players claim your stuff"

      Besides all that, Megaupload et al don't monetize content, they monetize a service. They get revenue from people subscribing to the service, regardless of how or even whether they use it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    jackn, 18 Mar 2015 @ 10:51am

    what's the remedy here? The big guys get to 'steal' another's work just because they are the big guys?

    Actually, in this case, if i was the creator, I would include Google in any legal action. sue both of them. In a sense, google is a pirate here. The dmca says you have to take it down, etc... It doesn't mention monetization. So, imo, they do not have immunity from prosecution.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 1:27am

      Re:

      "what's the remedy here? The big guys get to 'steal' another's work just because they are the big guys?"

      Apart from the corporate bootlickers who are defending this theft, who is saying that? The remedy is to reform copyright so that things like this don't happen, since making the perfect algorithm is impossible and placing the burden of proof on the little guy clearly doesn't work.

      "In a sense, google is a pirate here"

      Oh yes, the other defense. It wasn't our fault, it was the 3rd party we forced to implement this system! Pathetic.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 18 Mar 2015 @ 10:58am

    What about use by others?

    Bjorn had his content overlaid by ads paid to UMG, but what of other licensee's of Bjorns?

    What if I licensed his music, and now UMG starts taking MY Ad money that's rightfully mine due to my license agreement with Bjorn?

    That's potentially a much bigger issue than his own experience. After all UMG does not have standing to claim that music is theirs - only Bjorn does. If they file a DCMA claim, that would be perjury since they do NOT own the copyright - only a license.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Mar 2015 @ 11:11am

    Saddest part is

    This is probably not illegal.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    BentFranklin (profile), 18 Mar 2015 @ 8:21pm

    This. is. why. I. read. TechDirt.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 19 Mar 2015 @ 12:54am

    I really hope that they do this to someone with deep pockets one day and that that person sues the hell out of Google/YouTube for their broken system.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 19 Mar 2015 @ 1:28am

      Re:

      Yeah, attack the 3rd parties, that's the ticket. It won't fix anything or reform the actual problems, but Google have money!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Rekrul, 28 Mar 2015 @ 3:49pm

        Re: Re:

        Yeah, attack the 3rd parties, that's the ticket. It won't fix anything or reform the actual problems, but Google have money!

        Remind me again which part of the DMCA requires that web sites allow copyright companies to claim ownership of other people's content? And which clause of the DMCA requires web sites to install automated filtering systems to scan for possible copyright violations? Also, can you quote the part where the DMCA says that copyright disputes should be handled by an automated system where it's virtually impossible to get an actual human to evaluate the claim?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2015 @ 2:16am

    What UMG did here is theft. Many people also think piracy is theft.
    So it's all just basically thieves stealing from thieves while the artists go unpaid either because of contract predatory practices, contract loopholes or just plain old abuse (like this s**t that UMG jut pulled).

    I say that if you elect to punish one set of thieves (pirates) you owe it to the trustworthiness of the legal system to punish the other set of thieves as well (Big Music - in this case UMG).

    Otherwise you just have a system where justice really favours whatever scale hangs heavy with money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Meena, 20 Mar 2017 @ 1:27pm

    I HATE UMG

    I hate UMG for other reasons. They solicited my work for five months and lied more than five times in over 70 emails of correspondence. They lied about using my work, wanting more, having me snail mail my demo and bio so that they could compare them to my digital material. They lied about sending me a package, they said it was not registered and hopefully I will receive it on Monday.
    It appears, that upon my bio revealing my country, they became rude, very vague and then stopped communication altogether. I will share these everywhere. These bastards are like rapists with AIDS since they wasted five months of my life. I hate UMG. I passed up on opportunities for that bullshit. There should be hellfire especially for UMG.

    Universal Music Group, Germany only responds if they are going to make use of you and your demo. Here is that promise as copied directly from their submissions guidelines page.

    ‘All material will be screened and in case of interest you will be contacted within 2 months. Should you not receive a response during this time, you may assume that your project unfortunately does not meet our current planning needs.’

    This is their original email soliciting my work.

    Ihre Anfrage: ***SPAM***
    Deutsche Grammophon 10/10/16 at 1:11 PM
    To
    Meena Ali
    Message body

    UNIVERSAL MUSIC SUPPORT

    ##- Please type your reply above this line -##
    Charis (Universal Music Germany)
    Oct 10, 19:11 CEST

    Dear Mr. Ali,

    Thank you very much for your e-mail and your interest in Deutsche Grammophon!

    Please send the demo CD & biography to my colleague Theresa Moog,

    The address is:
    Deutsche Grammophon GmbH
    Theresa Moog
    Stralauer Allee 1
    10245 Berlin
    Germany

    Please do not hesitate to contact us for any further inquiries.

    With best wishes,
    Miguel Neiva

    Deutsche Grammophon Customer Service Team
    ************************************************************
    When inquiries are e-mailed to us, we store the question and the e-mail address information so that we can respond electronically. Any information submitted may be used by Deutsche Grammophon and the affiliated companies of the Universal Music Group (UMG), and may be shared with our promotional partners. We do not sell or lease any personal information or e-mail address lists to a third party.

    Deutsche Grammophon GmbH – Stralauer Allee 1 – D-10245 Berlin
    Sitz / Registered Office: Berlin, Amtsgericht Charlottenburg HRB 138012 B
    Geschäftsführung / Board: Dr. Clemens Trautmann, Frank Briegmann

    Meena Ali
    Oct 10, 14:16 CEST

    Diese E-Mail wurde versendet von: Universal Music GmbH | Geschäftsführer: Frank Briegmann
    USt-Ident.Nr.: DE198690616 | HRB: 85604 | Registergericht: Amtsgericht Charlottenburg
    Postadresse: Universal Music GmbH | Stralauer Allee 1 | 10245 Berlin
    Telefon: +49-30-52007-01 | E-Mail:info@universal-music.de
    [JM0PPV-Z9E1]

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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