Content Protection Company Makes Bogus ContentID Claims On Gameplay Videos; Sega Steps In To Clean The Mess Up
from the how-abusive-entities-ruin-YouTube-using-this-one-simple-trick dept
YouTube's ContentID system is again being abused to take videos out of the control of the uploaders. The latest wave of bogus ContentID claims comes from (possibly) Japan's eLicense, which is seemingly staking a claim to as many Sega-related videos as possible in order to siphon ad money away from the account holders. (via GamePolitics)
One YouTube account holder was hit with over 100 ContentID claims alone, while others have had some hits and some misses. Nowhere on eLicense's site does it say the company is authorized to make ContentID claims on behalf of Sega. Sega America has since responded to the uproar, denying having anything to do with the hundreds of filed claims.
Regarding eLicense, this company is not working on behalf of SEGA in any capacity. We are issuing a Cease & Desist to eLicense and reaching out to YouTube directly to work on resolving this problem.Now, there are a couple of confusing factors. eLicense is a Japanese company and it could be possible that Sega Japan has retained its services. If so, the American arm of Sega doesn't seem to be aware of this. Among the evidence in favor of pointing the finger at this eLicense is this tantalizing headline from its website touting its move into ContentID management.
eLicense is acting independently and Sega intends to take the necessary action to prevent this from happening again.
Please help us in spreading the word wherever you see it online, feel free to link back to this post. Thanks all for reporting and documenting this issue!
But it could be that Japan's eLicense (which actually spells its name "e-License" on its site) has nothing to do with this debacle. It could be a nearly-identically named American company whose official spelling ("eLicense") matches up with the name listed in Sega's statement.
However, this eLicense -- while apparently in the business of protecting game developers from infringement (its [unarguably lousy looking] client page contains logos for EA, Out of the Park, Pogo and Sports Interactive) -- doesn't have Sega listed as a client either.
No matter which eLicense it is, the claims are bogus. And some gamers/YouTube account holders aren't too happy with the fact that challenging bogus claims puts their accounts at risk. If a challenged claim fails, it's a strike against their account. So, many have just taken the hit and allowed another company to start monetizing their personal uploads.
The good news is that Sega has been very responsive. Many of those affected by these bogus claims have reported that these have been removed. Others are still waiting to have the claims lifted, but it's obvious an effort is being made by Sega to clean up this mess.
Back to the bad news: this is yet another failing of the ContentID system and YouTube's general approach to copyright claims. Nearly any entity can make a claim on someone else's uploaded videos and the burden of proof is passed along almost entirely to the accused. With ContentID, this process is nearly automatic. We've seen multiple cases of abuse in this system by bad actors who have used content that isn't theirs to make bogus claims on hundreds of gameplay videos solely for the purpose of grabbing ad revenue without actually having to earn it.
Sega's past efforts in the IP enforcement field haven't always been on the side of its fans and customers, but it is heartening to see it has made a proactive effort to retract eLicense's unauthorized claims.