Day in and day out automated bots detect and report millions of alleged copyright infringements, which are processed by popular web services without a human ever looking at them.
Needless to say, this process is far from flawless, but YouTube’s takedown system is particularly problematic. YouTube allows copyright holders to upload their work into a fingerprint database so matching content can easily be detected.
This results in some rather hilarious mismatches, such as a cat purring video being flagged as pirated music. But there are also mistakes of a different order, where original artists are targeted over their own work.
These include Norwegian musician Bjorn Lynne who has had two of his videos hijacked by Universal Music Group (UMG) which is now running ads alongside his work.
“Can I just state publicly that I hate Universal Music Group. For the second time now, they have hijacked my music and claimed ownership of it in all YouTube videos that include my music, thereby monetizing my music,” Lynne writes.
Apparently UMG has the rights to an audiobook that uses Lynne’s music track “Kingdom of the Persians” as background music. This isn’t a problem, as his music can be freely used as long as the license fees are paid.
However, UMG have entered the audiobook in YouTube’s Content-ID system, and as a result they’ve hijacked the ads on the original video. Making matters even worse, UMG also rejected Lynne’s dispute through YouTube after he explained the situation.
“One thing would have been to have done this unwittingly, by mistake. But I have ‘disputed’ the claim on YouTube, written an explanation and told them about the origins of this music — then waited the FULL 30 DAYS that the claimant has to process the dispute, only to be told that UMG have reviewed the dispute and UPHELD their claim!” Lynne notes.