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oldetymey
11-01-2012, 12:01 PM
One of the things Ive been looking forward to since I joined here was doing some Youtube videos for the first time. However Im kind of put off by the possibility of copyright action against uploaders, much of which Ive read about happening to members here. Im hoping some of the experienced members will post here, and possibly create a one stop resource of dos and donts, information, and how to go about doing videos without getting into trouble. Ive seen youtube has formed an agreement with publishing companies that make some covers legal now.....is there any way to tell which songs are fair game? Has anyone ever actually tried getting permission from an artist or their representative to record a cover? Are older songs safer, than say top 40 type stuff? What about 100 year old folk songs that no one can lay a strong claim to? Has anyone been fined? Ive even seen cases where takedown orders have been issued to folks that recorded their own original material. The whole thing seems silly to me...If you are not making any money from the recording of covers for youtube Im not sure what the issue is.
Any tips or pointers here are appreciated. Im sure alot of newbies like me are wondering alot of the same things. Apologies if this is a topic that has been beaten to death. I searched out a few threads here, but just thought it would be easier to combine thoughts in one place.
thanks!

OldePhart
11-01-2012, 12:41 PM
I have two channels, one for covers and one for originals or public domain songs.

If you're doing a cover of a copyrighted song, don't include the title or the original artist in the video title or description. Not including this isn't a guarantee your video won't be found to be an "offender" but including is one way to make almost certain that it will (of course, not all copyright owners are aggressive about violations, either).

That's probably the third tip, avoid covers of songs owned by agencies known to be very aggressive about tracking down infringements.

If you recieve a notice from YouTube about infringement and it just says something to the effect that advertising is going to be added to the video you aren't really in trouble - it just means they are going to monetize the video with advertising the proceeds of which will go to the copyright owner.

If you recieve a cease and desist type of notice that is different and the video has already been yanked. You're kind of in trouble because too many of those and YouTube will close your channel.

Finally, there are outright scoundrels out there that go around putting in copyright claims on things they don't own - the latest US copyright laws make this a lucrative practice. They've tried to claim copyrights on traditional music from the 18th century! If you get a notice from YouTube about a song that you know to be in the public domain - just reply and let YouTube know and they'll back off. Oh, and because of the aforementioned crooks, I recommend that any video you post that is an original or clearly in the public domain that you make that clear in the video and apply your own copyright notices (for originals and a performance copyright for performances of public domain songs).

That about covers it, I think.

John

ukemunga
11-01-2012, 12:43 PM
Great topic. I'm all ears (eyes?).

Tailgate
11-01-2012, 01:25 PM
I have two channels, one for covers and one for originals or public domain songs.

If you're doing a cover of a copyrighted song, don't include the title or the original artist in the video title or description. Not including this isn't a guarantee your video won't be found to be an "offender" but including is one way to make almost certain that it will (of course, not all copyright owners are aggressive about violations, either).



That's probably the third tip, avoid covers of songs owned by agencies known to be very aggressive about tracking down infringements.

If you recieve a notice from YouTube about infringement and it just says something to the effect that advertising is going to be added to the video you aren't really in trouble - it just means they are going to monetize the video with advertising the proceeds of which will go to the copyright owner.

If you recieve a cease and desist type of notice that is different and the video has already been yanked. You're kind of in trouble because too many of those and YouTube will close your channel.

Finally, there are outright scoundrels out there that go around putting in copyright claims on things they don't own - the latest US copyright laws make this a lucrative practice. They've tried to claim copyrights on traditional music from the 18th century! If you get a notice from YouTube about a song that you know to be in the public domain - just reply and let YouTube know and they'll back off. Oh, and because of the aforementioned crooks, I recommend that any video you post that is an original or clearly in the public domain that you make that clear in the video and apply your own copyright notices (for originals and a performance copyright for performances of public domain songs).

That about covers it, I think.

John

great info on this subject..makes a lot of sense. thanks!

oldetymey
11-01-2012, 01:48 PM
Yes John good info indeed thank you!
I did do some more research, found a good step by step to copyrighting your own material
http://www.wikihow.com/Copyright-a-Song

Also a list of songs in the public domain
http://www.pdinfo.com/Public-Domain-Music-List.php

which I find ironic are being sold on the site, but a good list none the less....
I was wondering if less than reputable folks could buzz around youtube looking for original songs then claim them as their own.
copyrighting a song costs 35 bucks....I guess it comes down to what your song is worth to you. Id be pretty sick though if I wrote a song,
posted it to youtube, and some dirtball stole it, copyrighted it as their own and made a million bucks off it.......sure the odds of that happening arent great
but you never know.

ukemunga
11-01-2012, 01:58 PM
Well... I do know this for sure. You can "copyright" your own work by simply making public notice of copyright.

If I design something and print it, or compose and record something, the standard "copyright 2012 Your Name" does have some validity and establishes first use if it is documented by date somehow.

Not as ironclad as actually registering the copyright, but it's a giant step in the right direction with no muss, no fuss, no cost and no liability for anything bad to happen. When push comes to shove you may have to prove your claim to the rights, but if you have taken this step it's a huge plus.

AndrewKuker
11-01-2012, 03:05 PM
From my understanding copyrights are only necessary when money is involved. You can make money with your videos by accepting YouTube promotional offers showing ad's on or at the beginning of your videos, but if your just uploading a cover I am pretty sure no one will care. That's half of YouTube. If you took out everything but original material or songs from a century ago that would be the bulk of what's up. If you are selling something you need rights. If not, there is no violation. That's what I thought at least.

oldetymey
11-01-2012, 03:43 PM
From my understanding copyrights are only necessary when money is involved. You can make money with your videos by accepting YouTube promotional offers showing ad's on or at the beginning of your videos, but if your just uploading a cover I am pretty sure no one will care. That's half of YouTube. If you took out everything but original material or songs from a century ago that would be the bulk of what's up. If you are selling something you need rights. If not, there is no violation. That's what I thought at least.


That should be the case, sadly it is not. For a technical standpoint all covers on youtube that are not covered by the publisher agreement or part of public domain are illegal.

Heres a better explanation then I can articulate
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120504/03253518776/how-can-you-tell-if-uploading-your-cover-song-to-youtube-is-infringing-you-cant.shtml

Your own original songs are fine. But you run the risk of someone stealing them apparently

OldePhart
11-01-2012, 03:45 PM
From my understanding copyrights are only necessary when money is involved. You can make money with your videos by accepting YouTube promotional offers showing ad's on or at the beginning of your videos, but if your just uploading a cover I am pretty sure no one will care. That's half of YouTube. If you took out everything but original material or songs from a century ago that would be the bulk of what's up. If you are selling something you need rights. If not, there is no violation. That's what I thought at least.

Yeah...a lot of people think that until their channel gets closed by YouTube. ;) You can ask our own members like Keonopax who had his channel yanked and had to start over - there are many other such cases. Whether or not you are making money off of it means absolutely nothing, at least under US law. What matters is if you come to the attention of a copyright owner that is aggressive about enforcing copyrights. Typically they range from not much interference with YouTube at all to actively requesting monetization of infringing songs (via YouTube ads) to demanding that the material be pulled. Run afoul of too many of the latter and YouTube will close your channel, sometimes with no warning. There are certain artists and certain record companies that are strangely devoid of covers on YouTube - those are the aggressive ones. There are others that are smart enough to realize that, especially with older tunes, a YouTube "hit" might spur a little sales of the original.

A few years ago they revised US copyright law. One of the actions retroactively brought a bunch of songs that had slid into public domain because the owners hadn't renewed them to being copyrighted again (you can bet there were a bunch of congress-critters in the pockets of the recording industry on this one). This was supposed to benefit the original artists and songwriters, except they are mostly dead and the vast majority of the material covered under this new clause was owned by major corporations.

Another little zinger is the clause they added that allows certain agencies to enforce copyrights "on behalf of third party owners," even when those third-party owners can't be contacted or it can't even be determined who owns it! The agency can collect royalties on the material and all they have to do is claim to make a good faith effort to find the owner - yeah, guess how much effort they put into that! If they "can't locate" the owner then they get to keep the royalties for themselves. This is why you see so many bogus claims to copyrights where these companies are putting claims on traditional music, originals of amateurs, and so on. I haven't heard of a single confirmed case of a songwriter or artist, famous or not, being contacted by one of these copyright agencies to give them money they didn't know they had coming.

Yep, we've got the best government money can buy! :)

John

oldetymey
11-01-2012, 04:01 PM
From what I can tell almost universally a song falls into the public domain
When the original writer has been deceased 70 years. Except in the USA. Ive been digging into
This all evening and it just keeps getting stupider and more disheartening

peewee
11-01-2012, 04:26 PM
Avoid Warner Bros material.
Don't use real artist name or title, be emotionally prepared for your channel to get yanked one day.
Go crazy and rock out.

AndrewKuker
11-01-2012, 05:12 PM
That should be the case, sadly it is not. For a technical standpoint all covers on youtube that are not covered by the publisher agreement or part of public domain are illegal.

Heres a better explanation then I can articulate
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120504/03253518776/how-can-you-tell-if-uploading-your-cover-song-to-youtube-is-infringing-you-cant.shtml

Your own original songs are fine. But you run the risk of someone stealing them apparently
Oh wow..that's crazy. But with over 12,000 covers being uploaded daily you have to admit that they're not really being clear about it, or heavily enforcing it or YouTube would just get shut down by the FBI because it's their website. When they ask you to monetize your video they have you click a box agreeing that you have copyrights to the material. A much more critical view is shown when compared to simply uploading.

myrnaukelele
11-01-2012, 06:36 PM
Any Song or Musical Work Published in 1922 or Earlier is in the Public Domain in the USA.

oldetymey
11-01-2012, 11:36 PM
Oh wow..that's crazy. But with over 12,000 covers being uploaded daily you have to admit that they're not really being clear about it, or heavily enforcing it or YouTube would just get shut down by the FBI because it's their website. When they ask you to monetize your video they have you click a box agreeing that you have copyrights to the material. A much more critical view is shown when compared to simply uploading.

I agree, they are not being clear about it at all. I dont have a Youtube account myself yet so Im not privy to how the site actually handles "offenders".
Its like any other gray area on the interweb I suppose, the sheer volume of traffic gives youtube an out as far as responsibilty goes, but when something is brought to their attention they have to act. I dont think youtube itself does any policing at all. Its just folks with too much money trying to figure out how to get a little more....Like you said with 12,000 videos uploaded daily theres a resource there for these guys to make some extra cash for doing basically nothing but sending an email.

oldetymey
11-01-2012, 11:37 PM
Any Song or Musical Work Published in 1922 or Earlier is in the Public Domain in the USA.


good info there myrna, thank you

philrab66
11-02-2012, 01:57 AM
I have two channels, one for covers and one for originals or public domain songs.

If you're doing a cover of a copyrighted song, don't include the title or the original artist in the video title or description. Not including this isn't a guarantee your video won't be found to be an "offender" but including is one way to make almost certain that it will (of course, not all copyright owners are aggressive about violations, either).

That's probably the third tip, avoid covers of songs owned by agencies known to be very aggressive about tracking down infringements.

If you recieve a notice from YouTube about infringement and it just says something to the effect that advertising is going to be added to the video you aren't really in trouble - it just means they are going to monetize the video with advertising the proceeds of which will go to the copyright owner.

If you recieve a cease and desist type of notice that is different and the video has already been yanked. You're kind of in trouble because too many of those and YouTube will close your channel.

Finally, there are outright scoundrels out there that go around putting in copyright claims on things they don't own - the latest US copyright laws make this a lucrative practice. They've tried to claim copyrights on traditional music from the 18th century! If you get a notice from YouTube about a song that you know to be in the public domain - just reply and let YouTube know and they'll back off. Oh, and because of the aforementioned crooks, I recommend that any video you post that is an original or clearly in the public domain that you make that clear in the video and apply your own copyright notices (for originals and a performance copyright for performances of public domain songs).

That about covers it, I think.

John
Slightly off topic John but how do people go about actually selling tabs of peoples work that they have arranged do you know?

hoosierhiver
11-02-2012, 04:35 AM
Don't do a Prince or Artist formerly known as Prince cover, guarenteed to get yanked.

kissing
11-02-2012, 04:46 AM
This has been my experience from having uploaded about 150 videos, most of which are covers.

-They will pretty much always identify your video as a cover and link it to copyright owners regardless of what you write in the title text/description/file or any other text.
Youtube has elaborate software that actually identifies songs through the actual audio! Even if you do a cover (eg: with ukulele playing). It must identify certain sequences of notes in a melody or something. And this usually happens within 1 minute of uploading.

-For me, in more than 99% of cases, Youtube just identifies third party copyright and automatically puts ads on your video with no issues.

-I've had ONE video that had its audio removed (I uploaded a cover of Nella Fantasia).
The audio was muted on Copyright grounds, and my account received 1 "strike".
But as soon as I removed that video from my channel, that strike was gone, and my channel was in good standing again.




Based on my experience, I say, don't be scared. Go ahead and share your music!
What have you to lose?

OldePhart
11-02-2012, 11:59 AM
Slightly off topic John but how do people go about actually selling tabs of peoples work that they have arranged do you know?

I suspect a lot of them just cross their fingers. :) The correct way is to secure permission (whether for money or not) from the holder of the copyright on the song (actually, the tune in the case of tab).

Some copyrighted songs are actually rehashed over traditional melodies so sometimes you'll see tab for a melody with a slightly different name from the song that used that melody.

It really gets complex...certainly more trouble than I'm willing to go to even if I were inclined to make tabs.

John

electrauke
11-02-2012, 12:29 PM
Wait a sec, I can be sued for posting my covers on YouTube? I thought they could only sue me if I was making money off my videos. I need to get this straight, because with my luck I will get sued. I mean I am just a kid playing covers of awesome songs. Can I only be sued if I check the box to monitize my video? Please help me clear this up.

philrab66
11-02-2012, 12:45 PM
Wait a sec, I can be sued for posting my covers on YouTube? I thought they could only sue me if I was making money off my videos. I need to get this straight, because with my luck I will get sued. I mean I am just a kid playing covers of awesome songs. Can I only be sued if I check the box to monitize my video? Please help me clear this up.

If you go back to page one and read Oldepharts post it makes it very clear where you stand.

philrab66
11-02-2012, 12:46 PM
I suspect a lot of them just cross their fingers. :) The correct way is to secure permission (whether for money or not) from the holder of the copyright on the song (actually, the tune in the case of tab).

Some copyrighted songs are actually rehashed over traditional melodies so sometimes you'll see tab for a melody with a slightly different name from the song that used that melody.

It really gets complex...certainly more trouble than I'm willing to go to even if I were inclined to make tabs.

John
Thanks for that.

mds725
11-02-2012, 01:47 PM
Don't do a Prince or Artist formerly known as Prince cover .....

Someone would actually do that? :)

Tootler
11-02-2012, 01:51 PM
This has been my experience from having uploaded about 150 videos, most of which are covers.

-They will pretty much always identify your video as a cover and link it to copyright owners regardless of what you write in the title text/description/file or any other text.
Youtube has elaborate software that actually identifies songs through the actual audio! Even if you do a cover (eg: with ukulele playing). It must identify certain sequences of notes in a melody or something. And this usually happens within 1 minute of uploading.


I agree with this. If you upload a cover, the more zealous copyright chasers wil identify it regardless of what you put in - or leave out of - the title and description. I always acknowledge the source of the songs. I feel it is only good manners to acknowledge the songwriter in particular.

I have just over 100 videos which are a mixture of traditional songs and tunes and covers and I have noticed there seems to be three possible results of putting up a cover.

A lot of copyright holders and agencies seem quite relaxed about covers and take no action. Presumably, in many cases, they have come to some agreement with You Tube about royalties.

Then there are those that are zealous about checking for uploads of the songs they have an interest in and you will get a "matched third party content" notice. You don't need to remove these videos but you are asked to acknowledge that the song is copyright. You may find ads on these when they are played.

Then there are the paranoid who will chase down anyone who posts one of "their" songs and has a take down notice issued. Don't argue with these, simply remove the videos and note who the organisation is and try to avoid uploading any more of their songs. I've been fortunate so far in over 100 videos not to have had one of these but I expect I will some day.

Finally there are the "matched third party" notices on public domain material. If you get one ALWAYS CHALLENGE IT. I do and so far the matched third party notice has eventually gone. I have two awaiting action at the moment. I find these are often on folk songs that have achieved wide public circulation through becoming pop hits. Even so, I have heard of take down notices being issued on PD material and the person having problems because of the nasty clause in US copyright law which OldPhart referred to.

I'm in the UK so copyright law is a little different for me. There is no fair use clause and the 1923 cut off date does not apply. The copyright term is simply 70 years after the creator's death or a fixed term of 70 years for material created by corporate bodies, which includes recordings.