YouTube Copyfraud & Abuse of the Content ID System

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Update October 4, 2012: YouTube has revised the Content ID dispute process to address many of the concerns expressed in this article. Specifically they have added a new appeals process which users can use after a Content ID claim has been reinstated by the claimant. This then forces the copyright claimant to either release the Content ID claim or file a DMCA takedown notice, and the user can then file a counter-notice in response. In short, YouTube has implemented at least one of the reforms I called for at the end of this article, so much of what is written below is now out-of-date. I am leaving this page in place to serve as a reference documenting the former problems with the Content ID system, and because it has yet to be seen if the recent changes will be enough to truly resolve the problem of Content ID copyfraud on YouTube. To read my more detailed response to the recent Content ID reforms, see my blog post on the subject here.  

Ever since YouTube first introduced its automated "Content ID" copyright filtering system, the potential has existed for tremendous abuse. Over the last couple years, evidence has been mounting that YouTube's Content ID system is in fact being systematically used to falsely claim and monetize videos the claimant has no right to, and to block videos with no recourse for the user, even if they are likely fair use.

All of this is done with YouTube's direct knowledge and consent, having designed a system that is wide open for abuse and lacking in any effective and transparent dispute or appeals process. This page attempts to document this problem in hopes that Google/YouTube will eventually be pressured into changing its policies to rectify this situation.

A. Introduction: Three Fundamental Flaws with the Content ID System

In order to understand the problem of copyright fraud enabled by YouTube's Content ID system, it is first necessary to understand the three fundamental flaws in its design which enable this abuse.

1. The Content ID program apparently requires no proof of copyright ownership

YouTube's Content ID system works by allowing copyright owners to upload digital copies of video or audio works, which YouTube's servers use to create a digital "fingerprint," against which all other videos on the site are scanned. If even a portion of another video matches the sample in either its visual or audio content, the video is flagged as containing that copyrighted content. From there, the copyright claimant can choose to either block, allow, or "monetize" matched videos. Monetization is done by allowing YouTube to run ads next to the a video, from which the copyright claimant receives a cut of the ad revenue.

While it seems obvious that a system which allows alleged copyright owners to upload any audio/visual work and claim copyright ownership over that work should at minimum require that person to provide some documentation or proof that they own the copyright to each work they claim, anecdotal evidence suggests that no such proof is in fact required. The sheer number of Content ID claims involving content which the claimant could not possibly have any copyright interest in, indicates that either no proof of copyright ownership is required at all, or at least that YouTube does very little to verify this and copyright ownership is easily faked.

The impact of this flaw is that anyone who manages to gain admission to the Content ID program can upload any content they want into the system, which it then flags as belonging to them. They can then block or monetize any video they want, regardless of whether they really own any copyright interest in it. As a result, there is nothing to prevent any Content ID partner from uploading a copy of the latest popular viral video and claiming it as there own, allowing them to hijack the ad revenue from that video, which can be substantial.

2. Content ID identifications are notoriously inaccurate

While YouTube claims the Content ID system results in very few false positives, experience suggests these matches are highly inaccurate and incapable of considering the context of the material in question. Many works are outright misidentified. In other cases, the specific work is correctly identified, but matched incorrectly. For example, if a Content ID partner makes video game reviews which include cutscenes from a popular videogame, Content ID might attribute all other videos using cutscenes from that game to the other reviewer. Likewise if a song by one artist uses royalty free music loops from something like GarageBand or Final Cut, and another song by a different artist uses those same loops, Content ID may identify the second song as matching the first--even though the only elements those songs have in common are in the public domain.

3. The Content ID dispute process is ineffective and gives copyright claimants the ability to unilaterally "confirm" their claim with no further recourse for the uploader

The Content ID system includes a supposed "dispute" process, wherein a user who believes his video has been incorrectly flagged by Content ID can use a simple webform to dispute the Content ID match for one of three reasons (1) misidentification, (2) license to use the material in question, and (3) fair use. YouTube describes this dispute process as being a sort of front-end buffer to the notice and counter-notice process established by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (17 USC § 512). According to YouTube, once the user files a dispute, the video is automatically restored. If the copyright claimant wishes to have the video blocked again, they must file a DMCA takedown notice. If the user still disagrees, they can then file a DMCA counter-notice and get the video restored. At that point, if the copyright claimant still objects to the video, they must file a lawsuit seeking an injunction.

If this was the way the dispute process actually worked, the impact of the first two problems would be minimal, as false identifications could be easily corrected by filling out a simple online form. As it is however, this is not the way the dispute process works in practice. In reality, after the original uploader files a dispute, YouTube allows the Content ID claimant to simply "confirm" their claim to the video, allowing them to either permanently block or monetize the video with no further recourse for the uploader. The user is then met with a message saying "All content owners have reviewed your video and confirmed their claims to some or all of its content." After that, there is nothing the uploader can do to fight the copyright claim on their video. Further Content ID disputes are not allowed, and neither can they file a DMCA counter-notice because no DMCA takedown notice has been filed. This conundrum is illustrated by the following diagram:

Clilck to view full size image

The upshot of this is that Content ID allows claimants to unilaterally reject any dispute filed against their own copyright claim, essentially making them the judge of their own case. Many, if not most, entities that use the Content ID system make it their policy to blanketly confirm their claims against all disputes that are filed, and don't even bother to evaluate whether individual disputes have merit or not. As a result, the Content ID dispute process as it exists now is simply a joke, and provides no effective means to appeal false copyright claims against a user's videos. This leaves the system wide-open for abuse, with little to no accountability for those who seek to use the Content ID system for nefarious purposes.

B. Wall of Shame: Documented Cases of Copyfraud & Routine Abusers of the Content ID System

This section attempts to document known instances where the Content ID system is routinely abused and used to fraudulently claim copyright over videos which the claimant either does not own, or is notified that the video in question is fair use. Its purpose is to provide a sort of wall-of-shame, exposing the dishonest practices of these entities to the public eye.

1. GoDigital Media Group (

One of the most notorious and long-time abusers of the Content ID system, GoDigital acts as a sort of clearing house for dubious uses of the Content ID system. They market their service as a way for copyright owners to identify and monetize copyrighted works in user-generated content, and are responsible for thousands of illegitimate copyright claims on YouTube. While these works allegedly belong to the individual artists which are GoDigital's client's, all Content ID matches show up under GoDigital's name. Apparently, they do little if any checking to verify if their clients actually own the rights to particular works before submitting them en mass to the Content ID system. As a result, a wide variety of royalty free, public domain, and Creative Commons content ends up attributed to GoDigital and their clients.

Interestingly, GoDigital is the most transparent of the copyright trolls, and freely admits that they make false claims, though of course they say this is rare. However, instead of accepting Content ID disputes when they are filed, it is their policy to reject all disputes filed through the Content ID system and confirm their claim against the video. Instead, they expect YouTube users to fill out their OWN dispute form on their website, after which they may or may not release their claim against a video.

One high profile victim of GoDigital's fraudulent copyright claims is the royalty-free music library Partners in Rhyme, which has publicly accused GoDigital of allowing one of their competitors, another stock music site called AudioMicro, to illegally claim and monetize music on YouTube licensed to Partners in Rhyme's customers. Another stock music site, Shockwave Sound, experienced a similar problem.

Other documented cases of false GoDigital claims:

2. Netcom Partners (

While some YouTube copyright trolls have ostensibly legitimate business models, Netcom appears to be an entity devoted to nothing but blatantly and deliberately fraudulently claiming copyright on YouTube videos they do not own. According to a recent report by, Netcom is a Russian company with a website registered in Cyprus, listing their base of operations alternatively in either Malaysia or Switzerland. Cached versions of their website (since blanked) reveal that they formally offered a service to artificially inflate views of YouTube videos. Now, it seems they exist simply to falsely claim copyright ownership of popular YouTube videos and hijack the ad revenue. When confronted with a dispute, they most often do not press the matter, and flee at the first sign of opposition. Despite the fact that there could be no clearer abuse of the Content ID system, YouTube has refused to take action on the matter, and Google declined to comment for the Wired article, citing company policy.

Documented cases of false claims by Netcom:

3. Sanoma NL/Gamer NL (

According to multiple reports dating back as far as 2009, Helsinki-based media group Sanoma uses its GamerNL YouTube account to file false Content ID claims against a wide variety of videos using content from videogames. produces video reviews of video games, and submits those reviews to the Content ID system. Its reviews frequently feature footage from videogames, including gameplay and cutscenes. Because of the overbroad nature of Content ID matches, Content ID flags not only GamerNL's reviews, but ANY video using the same footage from the underlying video game. This allows GamerNL to claim copyright over, and hijack ad revenue from, numerous videogame videos it does not own. Content ID abuses by GamerNL have been well documented in this blog article, as well as articles by TorrentFreak and Wired. While false claims by GamerNL appear to be more a result of over-broad identification by the Content ID system itself rather than malicious action on their part, they have little incentive to correct the error. In the meantime hundreds of videos are inaccurately attributed to GamerNL, and they continue to earn illegitimate ad revenue from them.

Documented cases of false claims by GamerNL:

4. X-Media Digital (

Very little is known about this Russian company which claims to be some sort of online media agregator. They also run the site, which appears to be a Russian site for downloading pirated movies (oh the irony.... a pirate site acusing other people of copyright infringement). They appear to be using Content ID to falsely claim and block numerous videogame related videos (including Dead Island and Battlefield 3). According to a response one YouTube user received (dated 9/29/2011) after contacting them:

One of the activities of our company - aggregation of content on YouTube. We provide a YouTube Partnerstatus to several gaming channels. Some of our partners mistakenly put wrong parameters identify content. Now we are working to resolve these errors. Partners warned. All locks we cancel as soon as possible. I hope that within 1-2 days the problem is completely solved. (Source:

However, at least as of late October 2011, users were still receiving false copyright claims from X-Media.

Documented cases of false claims by X-Media:

6. The Orchard Music (

Like GoDigital and X-Media, The Orchard is a content management company claims to manage digital distribution rights for a wide variety of artists and other content producers. Use of YouTube' Content ID system to monetize their clients' content is a primary part of their business. However, their procedures for verifying the copyright status of the content they submit to the Content ID system appear to be lacking, as there are numerous recorded cases of The Orchard or their clients claiming public domain content such as works by the US Federal Government (including NASA videos), royalty fee music loops included with iMovie, and other content they have no rights to. While The Orchard claims to respect Content ID disputes, many people have had difficulty getting them to release false claims, and it is fair to assume they and their clients are continuing to profit from numerous videos they and their clients have illegally claimed and monetized using Content ID.

Documented cases of false claims by The Orchard:

5. Major Record Labels (Sony, EMI, WMG)

While in 99% of cases Content ID correctly identifies music by major record labels, in cases where users choose to dispute a Content ID block based on fair use, their dispute will most likely be rejected, with the "reviewed and confirmed" message appearing.  While the music labels have deals in place with YouTube allowing users to post videos with much of the music in their catalogues, many songs (especially those belonging to WMG, which has long been the most reluctant of the major labels to allow their music to appear on YouTube) remain arbitrarily blocked. There is no transparency about what songs are and are not allowed for use on YouTube, and if a user is unlucky enough to use a major-label song that is on the block list, even if their use of the song is a minor one that would qualify as fair use, they are likely out of luck. While the major record labels are the most legitimate beneficiaries of the Content ID system as they have a genuine need to police use of their copyrighted content on YouTube, it is still regrettable that they are given the authority to unilaterally deny legitimate claims of fair use. As a result, it is nearly impossible to make fair use of popular music on YouTube.

Documented cases: Too numerous to name. One example is an anime music video I made, which was permanently blocked worldwide with the "reviewed and confirmed" message after I disputed EMI's copyright claim on fair use grounds. In another high profile case, Universal Music filed a false copyright claim against a video by the popular (now shut down) filesharing site Megaupload, which featured several Universal artists endorsing the site.

C. Google's Response: Silence

The cases listed above are just a few instances of the widespread, systemic abuse allowed by YouTube's Content ID system. There are many others--too many to list here. One more egregious case I became personally aware of was when a user contacted me about a false copyright claim by the YouTube partner channel eurozeitgeist. In that case, the false claim (which of course had been "reviewed and confirmed" after he disputed it) allowed this channel to hijack the ad revenue from his popular (and completely original) viral video, which had been making its creator around $20,000 per year in ad revenue. Fortunately in his case, his frantic posts on the YouTube help forum were noticed by a senior poster who was able to forward his messages to a YouTube employee, who managed to resolve the problem in less than a day. He was fortunate. Most users in this situation aren't so lucky.

More and more, the tech press is beginning to take note of the flagrant abuses and damage to legitimate speech caused by Content ID. Below are several excellent articles highlighting these problems (I was interviewed in two of them):

Despite the negative press coverage and increasing pressure on YouTube to reform its Content ID system, YouTube's response thus far has been stony silence. Thus far, it refuses to directly acknowledges that abuses of the Content ID system even exist. According to the Wired article:

“Our Content ID system works by checking user-uploaded videos against reference files provided by rights owners prior to publication on YouTube,” spokeswoman Annie Baxter said in a statement. “If the system finds a match, the rights holder determines the policy applied to that video — either block, track, or make money from the video using ads. Partners found to be abusing or attempting to abuse Content ID will be subject to disciplinary action, including the possibility of account termination.”

Google declined further comment. The search giant said company policy prohibited it from saying whether YouTube was even aware of the situation, and whether it has ever taken action against any company for abusing Content ID policy.

I too managed to get in contact with Annie Baxter regarding the problem of YouTube allowing Content ID claimants to unilaterally confirm their claims with no recourse for users. Her only statement was:
This is one of those corner-case outcomes that emerges from several different rules, none of which was intended to yield the result you've encountered (i.e., DMCA takedowns are global, but Content ID ownership claims are territorial). Unfortunately, addressing it YouTube-wide is going to take some time, both for pondering and implementing.

So while we can promise you that we're thinking about this, we can't promise you a fix or time-table. And feel free to tell the OVC we're looking at it and trying to come up with something.


While YouTube "ponders" implementing a solution, YouTube users must live with the knowledge that no video on YouTube is safe from being subject to an illegitimate copyright claim through the Content ID system. As it stands, YouTube presents an incredibly unfriendly environment for independent video producers seeking to establish a legitimate business based around online video. Even if a creator manages to navigate the minefield of American copyright law and produce videos that do not infringe on anyone's copyright, they still risk having their videos blocked or essentially stolen by false or fraudulent copyright claims by unethical companies like the ones listed above--with no practical recourse from YouTube's dispute procedures. As it stands, if this does happen to you, your options are basically (1) complain really loudly on the YouTube help forums and hope a Google employee sees your post and rectifies the situation, (2) contact the claiming party directly and demand that they retract their claim (sometimes they do, sometimes they don't), or (3) delete the falsely claimed video from YouTube to keep the third party from profiting from it and host it on another video sharing site like Vimeo that doesn't have an automated copyright filter like YouTube.

With all of Google's talk about not being evil and fighting for ordinary Internet users, how did it come to this?

What YouTube Should Do

If YouTube truly wishes to provide a friendly environment in which original online video content can thrive, it could fix the vast majority of the problems highlighted in this article with two simple reforms to its copyright enforcement process:

  1. Require copyright holders to prove that they own the copyright to every piece of material they intend to claim through the Content ID system. YouTube has quite stringent copyright verification procedures for users wishing to qualify for partnership status and monetize the videos on their channel. YouTube should require its Content ID partners to undergo at least as stringent a process. Content ID claimants should be required to prove they have a registered copyright in every piece of content they submit to the Content ID system. If a work submitted to the Content ID system contains both copyrighted and public domain / royalty free content, the Content ID claimant should be required to differentiate which parts of their material they do not have exclusive rights to, so that material may be left out of the system. This would greatly cut down on the number of false positives and cases where public domain material or content licensed to third parties is mistakenly or fraudulently flagged by Content ID.
  2. Stop allowing copyright claimants to "confirm" or "reinstate" claims through Content ID. Once a user has filed a Content ID dispute, that should be where the process stops. The video should be restored with all Content ID claims removed. If a copyright claimant wishes to maintain their claim, they should be forced to follow up the automated Content ID claim with a manual DMCA notice, which in turn would allow the user to file a DMCA-counter notice and have the video restored again after 10-14 days. At this point, YouTube's involvement, both under its own Content ID dispute process and the DMCA notice and counter-notice process should cease, with the video remaining online unless the copyright claimant files a lawsuit seeking an injunction. That is the template set by the DMCA--that any dispute process should end with the disputed speech still online. Only a lawsuit and a resulting court order should be allowed to permanently keep content offline.

Last Updated on Friday, 19 October 2012 11:45



+6 #1 jacob JELmusic 2011-12-07 11:44
Thank you thank you thank you !!!

I have just had this company confirm a claim to one of my videos which they have no rights to what-so-ever:

I have contacted them via email, but it didn't bring anything productive. In fact they even tried to trick me into retracting my own copyright giving THEM the ownership. Totally infuriating!

I have sympathy for owners wanting youtube to prevent abuse, and can understand why they invented the id-system. But when the id-system is blatantly abused the small content-owners like myself (I don't have expensive lawyers or a big corporation watching my back) are left with no options (apart from going crazy and buying a gun ofcourse)

Yes, it angers me.
So thank you for your site on this issue.
0 #2 Stephen Sponsler 2011-12-10 04:41
Maybe one day you will see this, 12/10/11 . I see SO many videos (most all of them than not)..of music albums on youtube that are staying up very long if not forever. Yet, I upload one with a song from the radio playing in the background, and it is flagged as copyright violation! What's with that? To leap ahead to the present, and the purpose of this message, a question: "Does including the fair rights portion..such as.. what I see from time to time and I did this once..Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use." ..have any impact at all, or does the YouTube process simply filter out via the mechanisms you've previously described. I am astounded how much so called 'violation' is out there right now..yet I cannot just upload my own home video with even only a portion of a song? At this stage, this might help, I have access for LONG videos on YouTube and the Ad 'thing'..yet, whenever I go to monopolize my videos the site will never take me to the right place..dead in the water.
+14 #3 maomaowow 2011-12-26 12:31
I uploaded my own performance of the Beethoven's moonlight sonata and still got a notice from youtube saying IODA claimed that they have ownership to my material. Beethoven died hundreds of years ago. The music I played is public domain stuff....
+1 #4 Mike Schryver 2012-01-24 13:07
Another company that engages in copyright fraud on YouTube is "The Orchard Music". I've uploaded old radio shows, which are squarely in the public domain. They submit this same public domain material to the ContentID system, and then fraudulently "confirm" their ownership when a dispute is filed. There are others doing the same thing with radio shows.
0 #5 Stephen Sponsler 2012-01-25 20:10
Can not believe how long it has been since posting my previous comment. It would be nice if YouTube (with agreement) instituted another upload step to videos containing copyright material through which links to that material or a blanket statement convering the content could be checked off in the description of even better..a new field.."Copyright Information Related To This Video" direct the viewer..thus, acting as advertisement to the right ful owner. That way..3 strikes and your out knowingly claiming false information right out up front.
+3 #6 August Linnman 2012-01-28 03:36
Very interesting article. I am right now under attack myself from GoDigital Media Group. It seems very likely that this is not a "content" matching system at all, rather a "monetizing oppurtunity sniffing" system. (Only my clips with a lot of listeners, and good AdSense opportunities, seems to get attention from GoDigital MG and others).

I produce music videos, featuring just myself playing, of classical music which is completely in the public domain.

Strongly considering to leave Youtube entirely and move somewhere else. Maybe to Vimeo or use my own hosting.
+3 #7 August Linnman 2012-01-28 05:22
Just got another claim from GoDigital MG. I filed (yet) another counter-claim on their website. I wrote this (see below). I cannot believe this should be necessary. It is a severe understatement to say it is annoying.

====== Reply to GoDigital MG =============

The recording features myself playing a piece of music of Frederic Chopin (1810-1849).
1) The musical composition is in the public domain in the entire world.
2) The edition used (Bote & Bock, 1880) is in the public domain in the entire world.
3) I am the performer and thus owns the copyright of the recording. Recording material available for proof.

The recording was done as part of a music project, more information can be found here:

Your copyright claim is a mistake, and I kindly request you to revoke it. I advise you to take the proper actions to avoid this kind of mis-identification in the future.

Kind Regards
/August Linnman
+4 #8 Jon Roland 2012-02-01 12:51
The basic problem is that the system is open to abuse by anyone with no consequences for filing false claims. People need to track down the offender and sue them for that, and also file criminal complaints for wire fraud. The offenders are counting on there being no one who has enough money at stake to make it worth while to hire a lawyer, but people need to learn how to prosecute lawsuits without a lawyer. If anyone can find the addresses of any of these offenders, post them so everyone can sue them.
+7 #9 Sean Dillon 2012-02-11 19:18
Any one interested in working towards a Copyfraud Class Action?

Title 17 of the United States Code Chapter 5
§ 506. Criminal offenses
(c) Fraudulent Copyright Notice. — Any person who, with fraudulent intent, places on any article a notice of copyright or words of the same purport that such person knows to be false, or who, with fraudulent intent, publicly distributes or imports for public distribution any article bearing such notice or words that such person knows to be false, shall be fined not more than $2,500.

§ 512.(f) Misrepresentati ons.
(f) Misrepresentati ons. - Any person who knowingly materially misrepresents under this section —
(1) that material or activity is infringing, or
(2) that material or activity was removed or disabled by mistake or misidentificati on, shall be liable for any damages, including costs and attorneys' fees, incurred by the alleged infringer, by any copyright owner or copyright owner's authorized licensee, or by a service provider, who is injured by such misrepresentati on, as the result of the service provider relying upon such misrepresentati on in removing or disabling access to the material or activity claimed to be infringing, or in replacing the removed material or ceasing to disable access to it.
+1 #10 Alex Kudinov 2012-02-19 19:19

I setup a scholar journal to deal (among aother issues) with new challenges of the digital era for a freedom of public music, it will be available shortly

While my early video on a matter is a bit emotional:

...what we need is to get organised and help criminals to kill themselves.

My advise is page by page collect screenshots of your responses their responses, their illegal monetization of videos, youtube responses, archive all this staff, so, then you can submit it to FBI, SEC, Federal Trade Commission, there are plenty of proper places interested to know of a criminal schemes and patterns, and this is apparently a right place to keep them busy.

But they need facts, not your emotions, live emotions for music.

I would however advise to participate those who like myself is recording music him- or herself. With licensing you can not be 100% sure where some noices could be taken.

Stay relaxed, because villains can not rule, love rules the world. Let them help us to build the case to help law inforcement take care of them and enforce youtube and google to act

you may wish to check these reporting places:

I think it is important compeling case for each of us, have a united place to archive the documentation, and submit the story in an organized way to the above authorities, so they notice a possibility the criminal scheme and pattern
0 #11 Alex Kudinov 2012-02-19 19:32
I would discourage filing requests through violators web sites, as you agree their to play their game.

I suggest, as I did, contact youtube at copyright@youtu and describe the situation. In response (there should be a response!) you likely will have a memo that they can not be of help, but they will likely suggest a contact email address of the other party.

I would then write email to that party, and send it cc: to youtube and if you wish to other places, such as law enforcement, congress, etc

This will be not a place to "kindly ask them", as they show the pattern of abuse and had a plenty of space to stop it but they did not.

I researched what to write to them, but will disclose when I send them a second letter next week.

Find something else to keep you busy at youtube, perhaphs at a different channel.

Love rules, not an abuse by criminals

For updates subscribe to my other cahnnel, I redidicated it to this issues
0 #12 Alex Kudinov 2012-02-19 19:54
Also please note the following;

I would not advise to delete your videos (I did it myself with few videos)!

I think this is a wrong way, as it cuts roots of the misconduct by others! Let your videos collect data of the miscobduct by partners-in-association-with-youtube-and-google, earned revenue, etc. It will be helpful, when FBI agents will visit youtube and google to research their servers.
+1 #13 Jonas 2012-03-03 03:47
Thanks for a great article!

Got myself a couple of those emails from Google, where a company called Kontor New Media claims the right to videos where I have composed and recorded the music on my own, and also used my own pictures.

Have disputed, both via Google and directly to Kontor New Media, but no answer so far.
0 #14 John 2012-03-06 17:11
Hi Patrick,
I really appreciate your efforts here.
I've just become another victim of YouTube copy-fraud. My electronics tutorial video has been hijacked by Spinnin Records. The Content-ID match was "Visual content"- which is impossible since I myself created all the content for this video. And my dispute status is currently "All content owners have reviewed your video and confirmed their claims to some or all of its content".
I've attempted to contact Spinnin Records on youtube messaging, and by email, but they're not responding.
Meanwhile, they've placed ads on my video for their record label, and are earning money from my work.
It appears that I could file a "DMCA Counter-Notification" via YouTube, however this appears to only cater to people whose video's have been removed, rather than co-opted.
Any advice?
Thanks again,
0 #15 Patrick McKay 2012-03-06 20:53

Yes, DMCA counter-notices are only for one a video has actually been removed by a DMCA notice. YouTube will not accept them for videos blocked with Content ID. Really the only thing you can do in this case is convince the Content ID claimant to drop their claim. Though there is one idea I've never tried before--send a DMCA takedown notice against yourself, then follow that up with a counter-notice. It's risky, but it might get the Content ID claim cleared, as DMCA notices supersede Content ID matches. No idea if that would work though.
0 #16 John 2012-03-16 17:52
Hi Patrick,

Thanks for the reply. Just wanted to give you an update on my situation:

After several increasingly-frustrating emails to the "YouTube Copyright and DMCA compliance team" (during which the only thing they would really say was "YouTube does not mediate copyright disputes"), they finally sent me an email address of someone at Spinnin Records.
I contacted them, and within a day, they responded with an apology and released their claim on my video.
When I inquired what they thought had happened, they said they receive 100's of valid content ID matches per day, and someone on their staff must have mistakenly verified their claim without watching my video. So, I'm the needle in the haystack- the extremely rare genuine counterclaim, that they'll never notice because they're so swamped in actual copyright issues. They assured me they would try to be more thorough in their future claim reviews...

I'm very curious if YouTube's content ID match notification to the claimant includes a link the specific point in the matched video, along with the specific point in their copyrighted material, so they can just do a quick A/B comparison? If so, it seems like even going through 100 shouldn't be THAT difficult.
If, on the other hand, YouTube just sends them a link to full video, and expects the claimant to review the entire thing (a 10 minute course in electronics, in my case)- it's no wonder they don't pay much attention.

If YouTube had not sent me that email address, or if Spinnin Records had chosen not to reply, I would have no recourse whatsoever, and they would be continuing to happily profit from my work.

At the end of each of my videos, I have a copyright notice- does this actually give ME any protection at all?

Thanks again for your work here!
+2 #17 Jason 2012-03-26 04:02
I have a hypothetical solution, to be applied only to those 100% confirmed fraudulent companies: Get their ad-sense account suspended by repeatedly clicking on their ads..
0 #18 Robyn Warne 2012-03-28 15:24
I came across your site after being notified by YouTube that video of my work:

"may have content that is owned or licensed by Formula One Management. As a result, the video has been blocked on YouTube."

I created a slideshow on of ornaments I made myself and took pictures of. When I checked the copyright notifications section in my YouTube account it said the "visual content" was what was being claimed as a violation - huh?

I contacted Animoto to see if it was the background they provided that was in dispute, and they said it wasn't. It was the pictures used.

The video is blocked, but I also have the pictures I used on Flickr:

+1 #19 Patrick McKay 2012-03-28 15:57

Formula One Management is the company in charge of Formula One auto racing. Unless your video had anything to do with race cars, I think it's safe to assume this is a mistaken match, and you can dispute it using the option, "The video is my original content and I own all of the rights to it."
0 #20 Robyn Warne 2012-03-29 05:55
Thank you Patrick. I did file the dispute and got a response this morning from YouTube.

Formula One reviewed my video and released their copyright claim of my "Custom Wedding Cake Ornaments" video.

I still don't know how they could have made such a mistake, but I'm glad it is cleared up.
0 #21 John OLeary 2012-03-29 17:26
You can add Kontor New Media to your list of idiots. A german company doing much the same as some of the aforementioned copyright claimers. Youtube just flagged a bunch of my songs which Kontor claim copyright over which in fact they don't. Surely Youtube themselves are accessories to fraud themselves as the company claiming copyright has no right, therefore infringing the ContentID regulations? Food for thought
0 #22 John K 2012-05-06 19:00
This fraud is abysmal. We are looking at a publishing company (YouTube) who is acting as a law officer and a judge at the same time.
There has to be a warrant issued for a seizure of property. Every single time. This requires proof on the part of a plaintiff. Filling out a webform is not provision of proof. "Electronic signatures" are non-sense because the replication would have to be the PRECISE sequence of 1s and 0s that the original provided.
Music playing in the background of a scene is NOT an original broadcast. Every operating system in the world would tell you that the files don't match nor do they even get CLOSE to a match. Digital information doesn't work that way.
0 #23 Peter McCarthy 2012-05-20 21:09
I encountered an interesting twist on this problem today. I uploaded a video of my son playing a Chopin prelude. Now, Chopin died in 1849, so his compositions are in the public domain. My son played from a public domain score.

However, rumblefish had uploaded to the content id system someone playing the same piece. Of course, this matched what my son played and the video got flagged. Clearly, rumblefish may have rights to the particular performance they uploaded. However, they do not have copyright in the composition itself. The content id system gives them a way to game this.

Whether they do this to game the system or not is an open question.
+1 #24 spsyed 2012-07-19 07:42
In June/July 2012, I have managed to get YT-google to stop making false allegations of copyright infringements on each fair use video clip YT and content owners blocked or removed. In my emails to copyright@youtu, I told them their allegations remain libellous, slanderous, malicious, and defamatory, particularly without complete legal discovery, trial and court verdicts.
However, YT-google and content owners continue to deny, reject or refuse fair use that is allowed under the 1998 US-EU doctrine or its counterpart in other laws.
YT-google demands YT-users provide personal information but fails to disclose copyright claimants or provides their invalid email addresses. As a result, YT-users remain unable to resolve the disputes directly with the alleged copyright owners or ultimate content owners.
The content owners fail to respond expeditiously to the legal notices; fail to follow and comply with legal and formal DMCA process, and failed to file lawsuit seeking injunctions.
So, there is a need to get YT-google and the content owners to comply with fair use provisions of the copyright laws, including DMCA.
Please contact me if you can help or need help. Thank you.
+2 #25 Ryan 2012-08-10 23:40
Up until recently, I had a long open, in good standing YouTube account.

Now thanks to the illegal actions of Cartoon Network, and the incompetance of YouTube / Google , it is gone forever.

After a long long time, I decided to upload and monetize some videos.
To get some extra views, I decided to upload a clip of some popular content, Adventure Time...

Now, be aware that on the clips, I received emails confirming that the content was owned by the Turner Network, that the clips would be left up, and that they WERE NOT affecting my account status.

Views to all of my videos skyrocketed... And all of a sudden I received Copyright Infringement notices from Cartoon Network, on several of the videos. I immediately freaked out, removed ALL of them , and decided not to use anything that wasn't mine anymore.

The next day however, I received MORE infringement notices on the videos I had already removed... And stating that even one more claim against me would result in account termination.

I emailed the support team or whatever, and explained what had happened.

That evening I received yet more Infringement notices on the videos I had already removed, including the ones I had already been told were not affecting my account status!

I'm no lawyer, but it seems to me from the information available to me, that only one claim can be filed for the singular incident pertaining to

But I am now left with no recourse. No one to plead my case to, and no way to get justice.

I had irreplaceable videos of my sons progress (he is autistic) on that channel!

These companies know exactly what they are doing, and need to be stopped.
0 #26 Ryan 2012-08-10 23:44
Quoting spsyed:
In June/July 2012, I have managed to get YT-google to stop making false allegations of copyright infringements on each fair use video clip YT and content owners blocked or removed. In my emails to copyright@youtu, I told them their allegations remain libellous, slanderous, malicious, and defamatory, particularly without complete legal discovery, trial and court verdicts.
However, YT-google and content owners continue to deny, reject or refuse fair use that is allowed under the 1998 US-EU doctrine or its counterpart in other laws.
YT-google demands YT-users provide personal information but fails to disclose copyright claimants or provides their invalid email addresses. As a result, YT-users remain unable to resolve the disputes directly with the alleged copyright owners or ultimate content owners.
The content owners fail to respond expeditiously to the legal notices; fail to follow and comply with legal and formal DMCA process, and failed to file lawsuit seeking injunctions.
So, there is a need to get YT-google and the content owners to comply with fair use provisions of the copyright laws, including DMCA.
Please contact me if you can help or need help. Thank you.

Please see my post, directly under yours, for a new twist on the abuse.
These.companies are now systematically seeking the termination of accounts!
0 #27 spsyed 2012-08-11 05:27
Quoting Ryan:
Quoting spsyed:
In June/July 2012...

Please see my post, directly under yours, for a new twist on the abuse.
These.companies are now systematically seeking the termination of accounts!

In order to get "extra views," YT users must never breach/violate "fair use" provisions of copyright laws, including DMCA.

Most content owners allow fair but change their decision and reject fair use.

When legal content owners claim infringement, then YT user must serve "DMCA Counter-Notification" to prove fair use, again.

By the way: I am seriously considering taking google-youtube to courts for their defamation/libel. Stay tuned.
0 #28 Ryu 2012-08-19 23:35
Quoting spsyed:
Quoting Ryan:
Quoting spsyed:
In June/July 2012...

Please see my post, directly under yours, for a new twist on the abuse.
These.companies are now systematically seeking the termination of accounts!

In order to get "extra views," YT users must never breach/violate "fair use" provisions of copyright laws, including DMCA.

Most content owners allow fair but change their decision and reject fair use.

When legal content owners claim infringement, then YT user must serve "DMCA Counter-Notification" to prove fair use, again.

By the way: I am seriously considering taking google-youtube to courts for their defamation/libel. Stay tuned.

I having the same problem with Youtube.I lost 2 accounts for making mash up parody video. I found out a few days ago That UMG had release their claim on my video that was removed which was fair use that I was only making a parody mash up video not infringing copyright what so ever.
0 #29 spsyed 2012-08-20 05:39
As promised, here is the lawsuit against Youtube-Google related to ALLEGED multiple copyright infringements 2009-2012. Some people may like to analyse the case law .
0 #30 Patrick McKay 2012-08-20 23:21
Well good luck with that. Sadly, I doubt that would succeed because any court would probably rule that federal copyright law preempts state defamation law, and a site truthfully saying an account was terminated because of accusations of copyright is not defamation. Personally I think it would be far better to sue a company that hijacks the ad revenue from a vid by falsely claiming copyright infringement for copyright infringement themselves (see my most recent blog post for more on that). But best of luck!
0 #31 spsyed 2012-08-21 07:21
Thanks for your comments and goof wishes, Patrick McKay.

In my case, the accusations or allegations remain legally unsustainable.

Publishing the unproven allegations in public domain, once or repeatedly, amounts to defamation or libel. There are no legal grounds to rule out defamation laws.
-1 #32 scott 2012-08-28 04:22
much of what Congress is doing is illegal as it is unconstitutiona l, and the mere fact that what they are doing illegal has not been proven in court does not take away from the matter that is in fact that.
0 #33 Andy 2012-10-09 21:09
When YouTube was coming out with content ID, I thought it was good they are giving copyright and intellectual property rights owners a tool to help them because it would be almost imposable to remove content that people did not get permission to use, however that quickly changed when two companies claimed music that is in public domain, one released the song after showing the proof, while the second company did not release it, after showing proof they just denied my counter dispute witch I think they did not even bother to read the counter dispute. It is a shame that the company has the fine word, even when they are wrong and YouTube does absolutely nothing.

I called the company and told them they do not have the right to claim music in public domain they finely released the song. I am happy that I won, but I do not want to spend my time finding music that is in public domain and creating something and someone claims something that is in public domain and disrupted my videos so if I want my videos to be unaffected I have to file a counter dispute and just get it denied because they are not careful, besides why should they be careful YouTube does not penalized them for copyfraud.
0 #34 spsyed 2012-10-10 05:02
Google Youtube to face defamation libel lawsuit in London High Court: A GYT user has launched libel action against Google Youtube (GYT) in the Royal Court of Justice (High Court London) (announced 15 Aug 2012). GYT restored channel Thu 04 Oct 2012 one month after it was "terminated" by Google-Youtube. It proves again that GYT and Indian film distributors, like Shemaroo, had no evidence of repeatedly alleged copyright infringements, no court trials, no court verdicts against the channel. That in turn proves GYT’s serious allegations were completely false, baseless and defamatory. A fair court should award precedent-setting, exemplary and aggravated damages (in this case number “HQ12D04099”) regardless of religion, colour or race etc for GYT’s repeatedly baseless defamation in public. As a primary publisher of defamation, GYT has no diplomatic immunity in the UK. As a US $250 billion company, GYT cannot plead poverty in the UK where they have assets that can be frozen to pay damages that should run into tens of millions of British sterling pounds. More and other analysis, and updates on ,, and .
0 #35 spsyed 2012-10-10 05:17
Quoting Andy:
When YouTube was coming out with content ID...

US court has already ruled that youtube must not remove, delete or block content uploaded by users. It means copyright owners must also secure injunction and then conviction for alleged infringement(s) . Google-Youtube (GYT) is allowing/aiding the owners to bypass due judicial/legal process. This is also one of the legal points that would be tried and tested in the Royal Courts of Justice (London High Court) libel action case number HQ12D04099 in 2012-2013.
0 #36 Jane 2012-11-17 08:44
I still haven't had a response from EMI on a claim that they made about one of my videos containing a tune by them but is in fact an iMovie software jingle which under the iLIfe software contract users can use on a Royalty Free basis on home videos and put them on youtube, but is getting tagged by them fraudulently-I think it is very rude of them to not respond and revoke the blocking of the video since it doesn't belong to them at all!
0 #37 Patrick McKay 2012-11-17 14:10
If they never respond to your initial dispute and just let the month run out, the copyright claim will be released and go away. I think that's often what happens when the music labels know their claim is wrong. They don't reinstate it, but they never actually admit they were wrong by releasing the claim themselves. They just let the clock run out instead.
0 #38 k wi 2012-11-28 00:49
I found a site called Youtube Copyright School, and posted there that I post only MY OWN PRODUCTIONS of MY OWN PERFORMANCES of songs that are HUNDREDS OF YEARS OLD -- i. e. -- PUBLIC DOMAIN, but Youtube is letting others "claim" the "rights" to them!!!!! How can I stop this from happening????????
I got a response to "report the claim as fraudulent" but how do I do that? I have already disputed the claim, but my dispute was rejected and the claim was reinstated
0 #39 Patrick McKay 2012-11-28 01:49
Do you see an option to appeal the reinstated claim on your videos? That is a new option YouTube recently added (though it's only available to some users--which ones seem completely arbitrary) to deal with this type of situation. See this page for more details on how to do that.
0 #40 k wi 2012-11-28 02:06
Thank you, Patrick, for your reply.
Apparently I will have to purchase a special telephone.......

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