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Tue, Aug. 2nd, 2011, 05:45 pm
Why I will no longer post to YouTube

Last night I left my computer uploading a new Rattus video to YouTube, one I'd been working on since December last year and my first HD video of Rattus. Because I didn't want to give the copyright trolls any gristle to work with, I took care to only use music released under Creative Commons and to abide by any CC licensing requirements. But when I checked it this morning I found YouTube had content ID matched part (or all) of the soundtrack to Rumblefish. At first I thought YouTube's automated content matcher had made a mistake and I disputed the claim, but Harvard showed me different. Rumblefish was supposed to be a service letting small indie creators like myself add copyrighted music to their videos at a nominal cost, but they have been adding Creative Commons music to their catalogue which YouTube then picks up and overlays advertising on otherwise royalty-free videos to pay rumblefish's royalties (and no doubt claim a share of the advertising revenue themselves). This is the last straw. I will not be party to letting a third party make revenue from other creators' work without paying anything back or value adding in any way. Better creators than me have already deserted YouTube and I know I will not be the last. How many do they need to lose until they care? Google have a delicate balancing act to play with copyright holders, but in this case they slipped and missed the net. Creators release their work under Creative Commons for a reason: so it can be distributed as widely as possible. Rumblefish, whether intentionally or not, is restricting that without paying anything back.

In future, the most I will upload to YouTube are teasers directing viewers to my Vimeo account.

Tue, Aug. 2nd, 2011 08:13 am (UTC)

YouTube has a obligation to ensure that royalties are closely monitored to ensure that none of their content deprives the artist of a rightful share... in this case a company has laid claim to the rights of a song you have chosen and youtube is ensuring that the claimed artist is receiving it's entitlement. If a third party is claiming the artistic rights to a song illegally and making a profit from it, it's up to the artist to seek legal advice and correct the wrong. It's unrealistic to expect that youtube manually monitor the authenticity of every music identity from every video that has been posted.

As from your article, youtube has removed or advertised on content which it has a match for a claimed copyright match... It's covered it's ass and the claimed artistic owners ass. It's sad that a company has abused the system to make money off music released under Creative commons, but packing your bags and leaving youtube is only punishing youtube for looking after the interests of legitimate music Creators. Sure the net might not catch all the badies out there who want to make a quick dollar on anothers hard work and god knows there are a billion reasons to leave youtube foreverz... but don't fault them for trying to protect the interests of music developers, big or small.

- Drake

Tue, Aug. 2nd, 2011 10:48 am (UTC)

Sorry, but YouTube does have a responsibility to be aware of their contracts with third parties are doing to creators' rights. As evidenced by the link, this has been going on long enough that they can't not be aware of it, so they do have to shoulder some of the blame for Rumblefish's antics. Claiming other musicians' work and trying to make revenue from it, violating CC licensing in the process, is blatantly not about protecting creators' rights. :)

But you do have a good point. I should post snippets of CC songs in videos and see which ones Rumblefish pick on, and then bring it to the attention of the relevant creator.

Tue, Aug. 2nd, 2011 10:48 am (UTC)

*hugs a rat lots*
(Deleted comment)

Tue, Aug. 2nd, 2011 08:15 pm (UTC)

I'll be posting to Vimeo instead, but they won't let me upload in as high quality as YT will. I think Vimeo are still guilty of using flash, but they support HTML5 as well. What other sites are you thinking of? DailyMotion won't support HD so they're out.

Wed, Aug. 3rd, 2011 01:38 am (UTC)

O_o   wha??   Vimeo is very iOS-friendly (i.e. not Flash-centric)... a Vimeo PLUS account is what you want, Ratso!

Wed, Aug. 3rd, 2011 03:45 am (UTC)

I never said it wasn't! But when I go there it still uses Flash by default. Why do I want a Vimeo Plus account?

Wed, Aug. 3rd, 2011 01:39 pm (UTC)

> Why do I want a Vimeo Plus account?

Higher-quality encoding.

Wed, Aug. 3rd, 2011 09:18 pm (UTC)

The higher quality encoding version would stay up even after my Vimeo Plus subscription expires, right? The FAQ didn't seem clear on that point. This is my first HD video, so higher quality encoding would be appealing. Also, I had to make compromises in video quality at my end to make it fit in the 500MB limit. I don't do these big uploads very often; I might be better off subscribing for a month when I'm ready to release a new video.

Wed, Aug. 3rd, 2011 09:57 pm (UTC)

You may be onto something there.

Tue, Aug. 2nd, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC)

Is this not illegal, as an abuse of creative commons?

Wed, Aug. 3rd, 2011 03:44 am (UTC)

You would think so, yeah... I guess it's a question of someone with deep pockets (very deep pockets I expect, as Rumblefish won't want to lose their cash cow) suing, and it would be hard to demonstrate loss. I will try to bring this to the attention of some of the legitimate owners of the music, but I don't know what will come of that.

Wed, Aug. 3rd, 2011 04:57 am (UTC)

It depends on which terms the artists selected under the Creative Commons license. You can pick and choose whether someone else can freely profit off your works.

However, the artists still retain some copyright claims. Nothing stops whoever already received a song from using it under the specific terms they received it under.

The artists and companies can also negotiate different terms for different people. I could give someone a super restrictive term or next to nothing restricted at all.

If you want a quick break-down of the pre-selected combinations, check out this link: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/

Wed, Aug. 3rd, 2011 07:04 am (UTC)

In that case I question whether or not the whole project is fit for purpose.

Wed, Aug. 3rd, 2011 05:32 am (UTC)

Hey there. I think I found the culprit.
(note: I stopped searching after I found this one, there may be more)

The artist Dhruva Aliman put their music on Friendly Music(partnered with Rumblefish, or subsidiary of some sort). Bardos is in there.

All Youtube knows is that it's registered under the Rumblefish partnership and it wasn't licensed with that particular partnership.

I found the music on Beatpick as well and under the artists name is this link to the attribution non-commercial share-alike license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

However, if I click on license music on Bardos, it wanted to charge some "donation" money(£3). So, there's a bit of a mismatch under what one can find for this single piece of music. There's even options costing $200 or more for this same piece if it's commercial usage.

It's even on Amazon for $.99, but no licensing so I guess it's just there to listen to.

The hardest part is that Youtube filters can't tell if music was licensed properly from somewhere else the artist offered the music.

It's a real catch 22 situation where artists can put music up anywhere under any license, but if they ALSO put it up with any Rumblefish partner, the Youtube videos will get flagged, tagged, advertisements and/or suspended.

Wed, Aug. 3rd, 2011 09:34 pm (UTC)

If Dhruva uploaded it to Rumblefish himself, he presumably would (at least in theory) get some revenue when Rumblefish slap advertising on my video and I don't object to that of course, but it puts me in a difficult position. (The links I found suggested Rumblefish did a scoop of Creative Commons music for a free revenue stream.) I got the music from Beatpick and received a license to use it in my non-profit internet-only work, but it now seems that's worthless when YouTube will automatically override it. Also, it technically forces me to violate the CC licenses I agreed to with some of the other songs I used because, at least as far as YouTube is concerned I can't release my video under Creative Commons and although I can only use them for non-commercial purposes Rumblefish will still be earning money from them even though Dhruva's song is only a small part of the soundtrack. Even though I really like that song, I might have to find something else.

Thu, Aug. 4th, 2011 02:56 am (UTC)

You could always try contacting Dhruva with info about the situation. Maybe he's unaware of what's going on.
Of course, the easy answer is to substitute the song if it's not possible to work things out.

Thu, Aug. 4th, 2011 06:13 am (UTC)

BTW, it's on the basis of this link that I'm not sure if Dhruva uploaded it himself or Rumblefish helped themselves:


But if that's the only song out of the ones I used that they have in their catalogue it's possible Dhruva did upload it himself, although he probably shouldn't be offering it on BeatPick as well because they clearly conflict.

Fri, Aug. 5th, 2011 08:17 am (UTC)

Dhruva has quite a few songs on the Rumblefish partner, probably most of them.

Thanks for the link. I had tried searching for "rumblefish stole my music/song" and similar, but didn't come up with anything. I couldn't find anything where artists were complaining about Rumblefish and Youtube.

On the link you mention, it doesn't seem like there were any replies. I'm not entirely sure whether the person that started that thread was complaining about his own works being misused, or whether he's just confused about copyright issues.

If a work is in the public domain, anyone can do anything they want with it, including selling it outright for things like Rumblefish. Disney made their empire off public domain stories.