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.