Record Label Commandeers YouTube Content

Jeremy Toeman received an extremely thought-provoking YouTube non-takedown notice regarding his January 2007 video upload containing a U2 soundtrack. Here’s the excerpt:

UMG has claimed some or all audio content in your video Pussycat Dolls @ Microsoft CES Party – basic Muvee w/U2. This claim was made as part of the YouTube Content Identification program. Your video is still live because UMG has authorized the use of this content on YouTube. As long as UMG has a claim on your video, they will receive public statistics about your video, such as number of views. Viewers may also see advertising on your video’s page.

I experienced the same reaction sequence as Jeremy: Outrage initially, followed by acceptance. All in all it seems like an entirely reasonable compromise – Universal Music Group has vetted the content and asserted their rights (to possibly make a few bucks) while leaving Jeremy’s creative content available. Our initial agitation could probably have been reduced if YouTube had presented the info somewhat differently… Perhaps prefacing the note by thanking Jeremy for his contributions the community and then giving him a choice of resubmitting or removing the video as alternatives to UMG’s eminent domain claim.

4 thoughts on “Record Label Commandeers YouTube Content”

  1. I got a couple of those TDNs for my YouTube videos. But then I started running the music through Audacity, and using the “noise removal” effect. Never got another notice from Google since, and trust me, I am using big time, popular music in the background of my YouTube videos, stuff the RIAA is on the look out for. ;)

    Your mileage may vary. And I am not smart enough to know why this works. FYI. Audacity is free.

  2. Tood: is the implication from your note that they’re screening the content for audio ‘fingerprints’ and the effect changes it so they don’t find it?

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