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False (?) copyright claims on video game music
Post Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 6:50 pm
I've quite far into my YouTube uploading project ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCsvqzh7JjNNheYTplGvhCQ ) and I was mildly vexed to receive my first YouTube content ID match.

So there is someone here who is "producing" video game music, presumably very cheaply in order to make money for nothing on streaming services, e.g.:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/8-bit-arcade/608074618
https://open.spotify.com/artist/21VBNkZvKxrI9zmfFRxXvn

These are not really even curated collections of music, just random music snippets thrown together and I'm quite sure without any permission from the rights holders (who may not even be identifiable in many cases). However, they seem to have a few tracks in YouTube's content ID system, and thus I got matched and "monetised".

I know YouTube makes it impossible to do anything about this - I can't dispute it as "they probably don't own the copyright, but nor do I". It seems I can't get them shut down on iTunes or Spotify either because only the rights holder can make that claim. I know many people have to avoid playing video game music in their YouTube videos without a lot of talking over it, in order to avoid this sort of issue - partly to defeat content ID and partly to produce a significantly different work (e.g. a review) to meet US "fair use" criteria. So I suspect there's not much I can do - but this may end up killing my project if it triggers the automated flags too often.
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:41 pm
Unfortunately I don't think there's much you can do, Youtube is pretty broken in general these days : /

worse-case scenario I'm imagining you'll just have some videos flagged, monetized, and spammed with ads but I doubt your channel will get shut down or anything. It wouldn't make much sense business-wise to shutdown a channel that is generating free ad revenue for whoever the rights holder of the flagged content is.

There have also been cases where Youtube's content ID system has been abused by rights holders in attempt to remove videos or shutdown channels of certain Youtubers they don't like. You probably won't have to worry about that either though, since your project is just simple 8-bit music preservation (correct me if I'm wrong on that).

You could always try to trigger a copyright deadlock.. Youtuber Jim Sterling discovered that trick and it worked really well for him, but that was around 2 years ago though so I'm guessing Youtube might've adapted to it already..

Either way I understand how annoying it is, I used to dabble in Youtube a few years ago so I'm speaking from experience. >_<
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:59 pm
It happened to me a few times in a relatively ancient past, unfortunately there are people who like to make those false claims just to earn some money until the real copyright holders find them (which might be never) or enough people report those claims as invalid. Which is one of the reasons which led me to abandon my Youtube channel, I didn't upload any video in years.

You should definitely dispute those claims, but if things are like they used to be a few years ago, there aren't many available options, and none of them suit this scenario. Try to pick the least wrong one and write an exhaustive explanation detailing your reasoning and why those false claimers should be removed from the face of Earth. Youtube's staff does read all claims and all disputes since there are laws or something, so if you make your point they might listen to you. They accepted all my disputes in the past.

Still, it's annoying.
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:16 pm
To be honest I suspect I'm more likely to get my channel shut down if I draw attention to myself. The dispute options indeed are lacking - the only non trick options are "I own the copyright" and "it's fair use", neither of which is true, and neither of them is going to get the content ID entry removed no matter what I write.

I see a few more Sonic tracks in this dodgy collection, so I may get a few more hits. I'm toying with deleting any videos where it matches a dodgy claim, just to deny them any benefit. If Sega actually came up (or some other genuine rights holder) I wouldn't believe so bothered, it's the scammy nature that irks me the most.
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:41 pm
Filing a dispute with a wrong reason and a detailed explanation actually worked for me in the past, but I can see why you don't want to take this chance given the massive scope of the project you're undertaking.

But still, yeah, I wonder why there are so few dispute options.
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Post Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:30 pm
I have been hit by this myself, but not for anything related to Sega, it was related to music from the Atari ST.

I have been posting 'crack intros' and demos, to preserve for historical purposes. I also post ganeplay from the SMS and the ST.

I have had 2 claims, both from the same provider, as above.

My first claim came in the summer. I still have not posted that video. I have not done anything to dispute the claim, but I did reach out to the publisher of the game, and request permission to post their games made for the Atari ST on YouTube, and that permission was granted. I have not gotten around to it yet, but I plan on posting the original game the music is from, and fire back against the claim I am guessing will be placed on the game, with the permission I received from the publisher. The music is different since a different sound chip is being used.

The second claim just happened in the last week. It was on a video released on 8/9/2019. The song in the claim was released 12/14/2018. This time, the game title in question was not released for the Atari ST, it was a C64 title, but in 1988, a demo coder remade that song with the ST's sound chip. I challenged this claim on three parts, the song used in my version being in the Public Domain (may not be) with a link to the claim the demo it is from is in the Public Domain. The fact the video was uploaded almost 6 months before the release of the song, and the video was made public 4 months before the release of the song. I just did this dispute.

If, in both cases, the (c) holder was who I know to be the author of the music, I would be fine with the claim, but both cases, I am pretty sure from looking at all the tracklists, this artist does not have the proper rights. If they do, they must have some good lawyers, because I know of many games music items they have published where the rights are either in a tug of war or I am sure the current owners are aware of their own ownership.
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Post Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:01 pm
The claims are all performed by bots. Often falsely, to boot.

It's frustrating. Infuriating, even. I've had to deal with such claims on videos that have been on my own YouTube channel.

Good luck handling them. I'm lead to understand that a lot of counter-claims succeed simply because the original claimant doesn't bother objecting at all.
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