A few days ago I mentioned on Google+ that the clean up of my YouTube channel had begun, the reason being is that my account had been dragged in to disrepute. Firstly, I’d like to hold my hand up and admit that in the past I have used songs that maybe I shouldn’t have. I earned myself a copyright dispute on a few of them but they were quickly resolved and an Advert was placed on my video, this however didn’t cause any problems…. Videos like my recording of Mark Knopfler from the LG Arena when I was stood at the edge of the stage, you know… the one where I shook the legend’s hand after he had played “So Far Away”, not that I like to go on about it 🙂
Anyway, back to my original point. Over the last year or so I have been getting back in to YouTube again, my videos have been getting longer and the amount of time I have dedicated to video has become much greater… So it is with great regret that I have had to make the call to delete a few videos that have earned me copyright disputes. Surprisingly it isn’t the videos that have been online for years like the ones I uploaded back in 2007 before the giant that is Google swallowed YouTube. The videos that have caused the issues and dragged my account in to disrepute are the ones where I have used Royalty Free or Creative Commons audio.
I have honestly lost count of how many times I have earned a dispute for using Royalty Free sounds and Audio, despite the fact I always comply 100% with the terms of the license. For instance, my latest video at this moment in time is my walk along the Great Ridge in the Peak District. In this video I used a Creative Commons Licensed song by an Artist called Dexter Britain which I found on the FMA Website. Dexter states that you may use the audio in any way you choose providing you give a link back to the original audio and a credit to him. As I mentioned a moment ago, I complied 100% with the license and included the required credits and links in the description of the video… Over the last 3-4 weeks I have been hit with a total of 6 copyright Disputes, All of which basically had the same information and to which I replied with the same response… “I have a license under the creative commons to use the audio and I have included the relevant links and credits as stated in the agreement of use” etc etc
This is not the only time I have been given multiple disputes for the same audio, my latest claim against the “Forest Sound” which I used in my #MicroAdventure video is by “Baby Sleep CD”. Apparently I have used audio from them but in reality it was a Royalty Free Sound from the library included with Apple Final Cut Pro. As you can imagine I have had to keep reiterating the fact when replying to the disputes.
I really have lost count of the times I have been hit with claims in the last year or so, the most disheartening fact is that it is against sounds that have been used legitimately. It really pained me to have to delete old videos that I had created years ago in order to lift myself out of Bad Standing because of the sheer amount of disputes I am waiting for them to resolve. I am currently waiting on more than 10 dispute replies for the Royalty free sounds. The worst thing about this is that it is totally out of my hands and all I can really do is wait for the claim to “time out”. In the meantime my account was downgraded so I was unable to upload videos longer than 15 minutes. No big deal I hear you shout, I was just concerned that the end result would be a termination of my YouTube account and the loss of all my videos from 2007 to the present day.
Get to the point Dean… ok, so my main issue is that the copyright disputes are being triggered mostly by an automated system. YouTube scans every video now days for any form of copyright infringement, very efficiently too it seems for the majority of the time. The most annoying part about this is that in the times that it gets it wrong I risk my account being limited or closed. Basically I’m just sounding off because I’m seriously disheartened with YouTube at the moment, I do understand they need to protect people’s creative work and I fully support that. The annoying part is that when I do my very best to be good and use Royalty Free audio I still get stung by a mindless system where it seems to take an age to resolve inaccurate claims. Let’s face it though… I’m just annoyed because I’ve had to delete a video I made in 2010 that had more than 150,000 views and I was proud of it 🙂
UPDATE – 24th December 2013
Well, Thankfully I can now say that normal service has been resumed. Over the last few days a handful of the remaining false claims have timed out which has put me back in good standing… All is well. Another good thing is that on the day everything was returned to normal I was sent a £60 payment by Google for the adverts I have on my content 🙂