It’s like this. YouTube provides recognised copyright owners with a tool called Content ID that helps them profile their own content and hunt for unauthorised copies across the YouTube servers. When it finds a match, it flags a message on the user’s YouTube channel to say that it has identified copyright content in the allegedly offending video, giving the user the opportunity to respond or take the video down.
Here’s the first problem: Content ID might be a clever piece of software but it is also thick as shit. Comparing the videos above, the only common feature is that there are gradient colours in the background. Duh, me see pink, me see purple, me see match. Ker-Ching! Content ID, he catch pirate!
Here’s the second problem: when a user responds to the claim, the message isn’t sent to YouTube but to the copyright claimant. This makes sense, of course. YouTube can help claimants hunt down copyright thieves but it does not want to get involved in disputes. If it’s to maintain its position as a platform rather than a publisher, it can’t. So this leaves you at the mercy and integrity of the claimant – as indeed David was about to find out.
With crushing inevitability, the whole thing happened yet again. This time, an international rights management business called INgrooves claimed one of David and Heidi’s ASMR videos was in breach of its copyright customers. This time, it turned nasty.
Getting used to this by now, David fired off his response – “it’s my wife’s voice, it’s Final Cut Pro X generating the visuals” – but this time there was no apology and withdrawal of the claim. Instead, INgrooves simply confirmed the claim by return, whereupon my friends’ YouTube channel automatically got slapped down with a naughty-boy strike. Three strikes and you’re kicked off YouTube.
David tried to complain and received a second automatic rejection by INgrooves. At this stage, there appears to be no appeal. YouTube assumes that if the alleged copyright owner reconfirms the claim after the user’s response, the claim must be valid.