Denver Direct: Now that’s just crazy! YouTube ad scam?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Now that’s just crazy! YouTube ad scam?

Did you see the video I posted of the MLK marade?

Shortly after posting, I received this notice from YouTube:

Copyright Info: The Complete 2012 MLK Marade

Your video, The Complete 2012 MLK Marade , may include content that is owned or administered by this entity:

  • Entity: Music Publishing Rights Collecting Society Content Type: Musical Composition

What should I do?

No action is required on your part. Your video is still available worldwide. In some cases ads may appear next to your video.

What can I do about my video’s status?

Please note that the video’s status can change, if the policies chosen by the content owners change. You may want to check back periodically to see if you have new options available to you.
Under certain circumstances, you may dispute this copyright claim. These are:
  • if the content is mistakenly identified and is actually completely your original creation;
  • if you believe your use does not infringe copyright (e.g. it is fair use under US law);
  • if you are actually licensed by the owner to use this content.
Please take a few minutes to visit our Help Center section on Policy and Copyright Guidelines, where you can learn more about copyright law and our Content Identification Service.

A Google search revealed:

“It’s not so much a claim against your video per se; it’s a notification that royalties are being collected on behalf of the original artist.
This has nothing to do with not getting permission — that’s a separate issue. Basically, royalties are payable on any public performance of any music registered with the appropriate collecting societies. In other words, if you write a song and somebody gets up on stage and performs it (even a cover), or broadcasts it in a video, or whatever, you can claim royalty payments. You’re being compensated for the fact that it was all your work, but somebody else is being paid for it.
This mysterious “Music Publishing Rights Collecting Society” isn’t one organisation: it’s a generic term for all collecting societies, which collect and distribute money on behalf of artists — organisations like ACAP and BMI in the US, PRS for Music in the UK, GEMA in Germany and so on.
You don’t need to worry about anything, because you’re not the one having to pay royalties — it’s YouTube, who have to buy broadcasting licences in different countries in order to be allowed to broadcast music. The “claim” is merely a notification that this is happening. Similarly, if you are at a karaoke bar as a performer, you don’t have to worry about royalties and such: that will have been taken care of on your behalf by the owners of the venue or the organisers of the event, who will have had to have bought a licence.
That said, if your video contains any third party material at all, including cover versions (a capella or not), you actually still do need the permission of the copyright owners, quite separate from the issue of royalty payments. If you do not have this permission, then that is a possible case of copyright infringement, and the copyright owners then have the legal right, if they so wish, to order YouTube to take your video down. It doesn’t matter if you credit the author or write a disclaimer or make no money from it: it’s very likely copyright infringement if you don’t get permission (the YouTube Help Center has a whole section devoted to copyright issues).
So, in short, there are two related, but different, issues here:
Copyright: You must get the permission of the original creator of the work you are using before you upload.
Royalty payments: If the original song is registered with a collecting society, royalties on all performances are likely due — but this is taken care of by YouTube.”

I haven’t identified anything in the video that might be the culprit. Can you? Comments appreciated. Further reading here.

Update: After posting the above, I continued to research the question and found this Facebook page.
It sure looks like a fake to me. Putting an ad next to your video is the punishment? Reading the 79 comments, I found the suggestion that anyone receiving the notice should go ahead and dispute the claim. That’s what I did – clicked through a form and submitted my challenge to the claim to YouTube. To my amazement, the notice next to my video DISAPPEARED WITHIN 30 SECONDS. Gone, gone.
So YouTube sends you a notice of possible copyright infringement and the punishment is that THEY PUT AN AD NEXT TO IT?? Smells like a scam to me. Try disputing it and see if your notice disappears. Please comment.