Don’t copy anything, all right?

Several years ago I would record videos of myself singing at home or performing with local bands on stage and post them onto YouTube to share or keep simply for memories. Most of the songs belonged to famous artists; they were not our own. The performances were like singing karaoke on stage or performing a solo in the comfort of your own home. This was something everybody did, I thought.

Then one day I went onto my YouTube page to find these seemingly innocent videos marked with the copyright symbol and an “Includes copyrighted content” message. I was shocked, nervous, scared, like, oh my gosh, what did I do? After clicking the link, it said: 

Copyrighted content was found in your video. The claimant is allowing their content to be used in your YouTube video. However, ads might appear on it.

Reading further on YouTube’s What is a Contend ID Claim?, YouTube explained:

If you upload a video that contains copyright-protected material, you could end up with a Content ID claim. These claims are issued by companies that own music, movies, TV shows, video games, or other copyright-protected material.

Depending on the copyright owner’s policy, some Content ID claims prevent certain material from being available on YouTube. Others allow the video to remain live, while directing the advertising revenue to the copyright owners of the claimed content, like music.

I haven’t uploaded anything to YouTube since then, but I’m glad I’ve learned how serious Copyright Laws really are as a result of this experience.

1 comment

  1. Content ID is really, really interesting. You should watch the video with Andy Baio in which he discusses his bout with the legal system. It starts with a discussion of Content ID which I think you’ll appreciate.

    Honestly I believe most of it is about scare tactics and making money. I’ve been tagged with content id in the past and successfully claimed fair use. My favorite was this remix.

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