Monthly Archives: August 2012

Irritated with YouTube.

I’m getting really irritated with YouTube.

If someone’s gone to the effort to produce some music or make a film then I think it’s quite right that if others are going to use this work then the original author should get rewarded for their efforts. If others are going to take that material and use it for their own gain without at the very least seeking permission to use it, then I think that’s wrong. So in general I’m not against this thing of YouTube and their associates trying to have a clamp down on the misuse of copyright material. However what has really started to annoy me is that YouTube seems to be supporting their associates like Rumblefish in claiming copyright of material that they are not entitled to.

Recently I uploaded various videos, each with some background music sourced from Kevin MacLeod. He very generously provides a lot of music royalty free, all licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0. To use this license all you need to do is to correctly attribute the music in your video. (There’s no cost to use music under the Creative Commons License.)

Within minutes (sometimes seconds) of uploading I’d get a message from YouTube saying copyright violation and that some music rights collecting society (usually Rumblefish) has claimed copyright on the music I’ve used. There is a big implication of guilty unless you can prove your innocence, and the only way to achieve this is to go through the whole dispute process.

If this happened just once every now and again then I could understand that nothing is perfect and mistakes can be made, but when it happened every time I uploaded a video, that’s shite. You could of course take the easy option and ignore things, but then they will monetize your video by placing adverts in it and then in turn they’ll make money off the back of someone else’s efforts.

So on one hand we’ve got YouTube saying how wrong it is for individuals to misuse copyrighted material on their videos, the next minute they’re supporting companies to claim other people’s work as belonging to them. To me this smacks of fraud, but YouTube does not seem to care, we’re part of the Google empire therefore we have more lawyers than you so we’ll just do what we want.

After all, if YouTube has the technology to scan and identify the patterns in the sound and music of the videos being uploaded, and do this in virtual real time, then surely they have the technology to check in the Description box and look for valid acknowledgements and attributions, especially where a valid ISRC code has been included.

As for Rumblefish and any ‘concern’ that they may have about making money of the back of others, they recently tried to claim the copyright over some ambient bird song noises recorded when a guy was out doing some gardening, and when he went through the YouTube dispute process, they still said he was using their copyrighted music.

If YouTube want to have the trust and respect of their users then they should do a little less ‘we’re bigger than you so we’ll ignore the small time user’ to a bit more of ‘remember it’s the small time user that watches these videos and clicks on the advert links that make you money’.

This whole situation means I’m getting really irritated with YouTube. Therefore I’m viewing less YouTube content so seeing fewer ads so they’re generating less revenue from me! Instead I’m starting to upload more and more to Vimeo, a site I knew about but never really used until this started happening .

YouTube may be the biggest kid on the block at the moment, but even the mighty can fall.