Why Youtube frequently issues copyright violations on licensed use of music
I predicted this was going to happen the moment Youtube announced it was automatically scanning videos for copyrighted music:
The problem is that Content ID improperly flags licensed music as a copyright infringement – leading to embarrassment for producers and editors that have legitimately licensed their music from a reputable company.
How can they tell the difference between a recording you have paid licensing fees for versus a random copy? They cannot. I have gone out of my way to use licensed music on my own online videos but …
I have a video on Youtube of a U.S. Civil War Battle re-enactment. The battled ended with a performance of Taps, which was written jointly by a private and a General in 1862 during the U.S. Civil War. Instead of using the recording I made at the battle field, which was interrupted by a public address system, I used a performance by the United States Army, obtained from a U.S. Army web site that says the recording is in the public domain and available for any use.
First, Youtube flagged my video saying that Sony Music had a copyright objection to my video. I contested their copyright claim and thankfully, Sony Music promptly agreed with me and let me continue to use the video.
But then another company that specializes in rights management issues made a claim, without saying even what it was claiming. I tracked down their company, their web site, and their formal process for contesting their copyright claim. I filled out all the forms, noting the only music is that of the US Army’s performance of Taps, a song written in 1862 for which this publisher did not have a copyright – but this company never even bothered to reply. To this day, that video remains banned in Germany even though it does not have any copyrighted material in it.
This is troubling since various law and treaty proposals (not yet passed) would give ultimate take down authority to rights holders to accuse anyone of copyright violation and with out any due process, your work could be taken down, and there is no recourse nor penalties for false accusations. And this is pretty much what exists on Youtube today.