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YouTube responds to Content ID crisis: ‘Rights ownership can be complicated’

YouTube offers no help for channels whose videos were automatically taken down.


Michelle Jaworski


YouTube’s newly implemented changes to its Content ID system—the automated system that flags videos for using copyrighted material—have been getting flak from the gaming community after thousands of reviews and Let’s Play videos were wrongly taken down.  

Now the company is finally speaking out.

YouTube hears your complaints. It know there is a lot of content being flagged by Content ID and affecting these content creators, particularly affiliates of multi-channel networks.

And, well, tough luck.

The company is standing behind its controversial policy, instead suggesting that content creators mute the music in the games so that they can prevent further copyright claims, according to an email from YouTube, obtained by Kotaku

The message also implies that video creators aren’t aware of all the copyrights at play when it comes to game footage: 

Keep in mind one video may contain multiple copyrighted works, any of which could potentially result in a claim. For example a record label may own music playing in the video (even in the background), a music distributor may own a game’s soundtrack, or a game publisher may own in-game cinematic content.

Also, online rights are often resold to companies like music labels and aggregators. While you might not recognize the owner, this doesn’t necessarily mean their claims are invalid. 

Rather than consider the fair use arguments that gamers have raised, it appears that YouTube stands by the idea that content creators can no longer run ads on videos that are found to include copyrighted content—even background music.

The system has already flagged content provided to gamers by video game companies, fooled YouTube into giving revenue to people who didn’t hold any rights to the content in question, and even taken down game footage uploaded by a game’s creator

YouTube’s response is little comfort to the gamers who have made a career of playing and reviewing video games on YouTube, and depend on ad revenue to support themselves.

H/T Kotaku | Photo via William Brawley/Flickr

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The Daily Dot