Legal advice

aspieman456

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Recently, I received this notice from YouTube saying this:


A copyright owner using Content ID claimed some material in your video.

This is just a heads up
Don’t worry. You’re not in trouble and your account standing is not affected by this.

There are either ads running on your video, with the revenue going to the copyright owner, or the copyright owner is receiving stats about your video’s views.

Video title: Christmas on the ukulele: It's a Marshmallow World
Includes: Musical Composition
Claimed by: SPA_CS, SOKOJ_CS, Music Sales (Publishing), CASH, ZAIKS_CS, STIM CS, Shapiro Bernstein, MACP, SGAE_CS, ARTISJUS_CS, PRS CS, SABAM_CS, and UMPI



Hi hackdown3,

A copyright owner using Content ID claimed some material in your video.

This is just a heads up
Don’t worry. You’re not in trouble and your account standing is not affected by this.

There are either ads running on your video, with the revenue going to the copyright owner, or the copyright owner is receiving stats about your video’s views.

Video title: Christmas on the ukulele: It's a Marshmallow World
Includes: Musical Composition
Claimed by: SPA_CS, SOKOJ_CS, Music Sales (Publishing), CASH, ZAIKS_CS, STIM CS, Shapiro Bernstein, MACP, SGAE_CS, ARTISJUS_CS, PRS CS, SABAM_CS, and UMPI

What's next?
If there are no problems, you don’t need to take any action. You don't need to delete your video.

If something went wrong and the copyright owner or our system made a mistake, we have a dispute process. Only use it if you’re confident you have the rights to use all the content in your video.

- The YouTube Team

I filed a claim saying I didn't profit from the song. I need some help on the matter.
 

Inksplosive AL

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I should mention I'm a pro tattoo artist not a lawyer.

Its in plain English with no legal double speak. You preformed a song that SPA_CS, SOKOJ_CS, Music Sales (Publishing), CASH, ZAIKS_CS, STIM CS, Shapiro Bernstein, MACP, SGAE_CS, ARTISJUS_CS, PRS CS, SABAM_CS, and UMPI claim ownership of.

Because of this the interested party/s may get revenue from ads put on your video by them. In the least they might pay attention to how many views your video gets.

They then state:

What's next?
If there are no problems, you don’t need to take any action. You don't need to delete your video.

If something went wrong and the copyright owner or our system made a mistake, we have a dispute process. Only use it if you’re confident you have the rights to use all the content in your video.


You made a claim (?) saying you didn't profit off the video, this was never in question. They only expect you to dispute if you feel an incorrect claim by the mentioned company was made or the software itself used made a mistake. This was a simple mistake on your part nothing more. You are not disputing their ownership.

Stop worrying. If you have no videos making ad revenue for you on youtube and no plans to then worry even less.

~peace~
 
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aspieman456

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I said I never made any profits off of the ads. I'm just concerned, and maybe freaked out. Thank you.
 

Jim Hanks

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Profit to you is not the issue. You still don't own the song and technically you have no right to use it. You have not paid a license to the copyright holder to use it. Technically the copyright holder can have you delete your video as a copyright infringement.

Now, practically , YouTube has this system where they will put ads on the video and give some proceeds back to the owner and most owners are happy to get the exposure and the pittance than go through the trouble of getting you to remove the video.

In short, what Inksplosive said - don't worry about it.
 

janeray1940

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To legally post covers on the web, even if not for profit, it's my understanding that you need a sync license, although in the cases of some copyright owners there are exceptions as Jim Hanks noted above.
 

Rllink

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This is not advise, this is a question. Wouldn't the copyright holder have to serve you with some sort of cease and desist order first? The reason that I ask this, is that a friend of mine opened a restaurant and about a year later, he received a notice that someone else had a restaurant by the same name, and they demanded that he quit using that name. He changed the name of his restaurant, and that was it. Nothing else came of it. The other thing is that a local coffee shop that I play at sometimes, did not have a license to cover people performing there. They got a notice to stop allowing people to play covers there until the got one. In response, they got a license, and that was the end of it. I think the problem would have been if they had continued and not gotten the license.

So I'm just throwing it out, in these kind of things, I don't think that you get in trouble for using the copyrighted material, I think that the trouble comes if the copyright owner tells you to quit playing it, and you refuse to do so. When Woody Guthrie wrote "This Land is Your Land", he copyrighted it, but he never enforced the copyright on it, saying that he wanted people to play it. I believe, that if a copyright owner does not make and effort to protect their copyright, that they can lose it. So anyway, the only thing I know about the subject is what I've read on the internet. I still think that unless you are told to stop playing the song, you are fine, at least legally. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
 
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ProfChris

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Afraid you're wrong Rllink. By posting the recording of someone else's song to YouTube you automatically infringe various copyrights:

1. The music author's rights in the tune.

2. The lyric writer's rights in the words.

3. If you're copying someone else's performance of that song, and are good enough to make the copy recognisable, then the performer's rights in the performance.

In theory they could claim compensation from you immediately. In practice, the compensation would be so small that they almost certainly won't bother for an amateur video.

There are various defences you might use ('fair use' is the main defence under US law), but most won't work for covers. Importantly, these are NOT defences:

a. I'm just an amateur.

b. I didn't make any money from it.

c. I credited the original artiste or posted some kind of disclaimer.

However, most rights owners don't object to amateur covers that much, so YouTube has built a system under which software (ContentID) identifies the rights owner and then notifies them with a menu to choose from. The most common choice is to serve ads against the video, with the rights owner taking the income.

Some rights owners take a strong line - there are very few Prince covers because Prince's management is instructed to choose the 'take down' option at all times.

Once you start posting someone else's original recording (even if you are playing and singing along with it) things can get less friendly; the rights owner will almost certainly choose 'take down'. If you get too many takedowns, your account is closed.

And you're also wrong about losing a copyright if you don't enforce it - US law used not to let you enforce your copyright unless you registered it, but that disappeared years back when the US signed up to the Berne Convention. Even then, you could register and then claim for any infringement made later.

It would be good if one could buy a licence to make covers, but there's no such thing, mainly because the cost of setting up and running a licensing system would be expensive and produce little surplus over running costs. So amateur musicians post covers and wait to see what happens. Generally, the rights owner decides to tolerate them and take the advertising income, but that's not permission to use the song, just toleration of your copyright infringement.

I don't expect the law to change sensibly for at least 20 years, so we just have to learn to live with this situation.
 

Rllink

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Afraid you're wrong Rllink. By posting the recording of someone else's song to YouTube you automatically infringe various copyrights:

1. The music author's rights in the tune.

2. The lyric writer's rights in the words.

3. If you're copying someone else's performance of that song, and are good enough to make the copy recognisable, then the performer's rights in the performance.

In theory they could claim compensation from you immediately. In practice, the compensation would be so small that they almost certainly won't bother for an amateur video.

There are various defences you might use ('fair use' is the main defence under US law), but most won't work for covers. Importantly, these are NOT defences:

a. I'm just an amateur.

b. I didn't make any money from it.

c. I credited the original artiste or posted some kind of disclaimer.

However, most rights owners don't object to amateur covers that much, so YouTube has built a system under which software (ContentID) identifies the rights owner and then notifies them with a menu to choose from. The most common choice is to serve ads against the video, with the rights owner taking the income.

Some rights owners take a strong line - there are very few Prince covers because Prince's management is instructed to choose the 'take down' option at all times.

Once you start posting someone else's original recording (even if you are playing and singing along with it) things can get less friendly; the rights owner will almost certainly choose 'take down'. If you get too many takedowns, your account is closed.

And you're also wrong about losing a copyright if you don't enforce it - US law used not to let you enforce your copyright unless you registered it, but that disappeared years back when the US signed up to the Berne Convention. Even then, you could register and then claim for any infringement made later.

It would be good if one could buy a licence to make covers, but there's no such thing, mainly because the cost of setting up and running a licensing system would be expensive and produce little surplus over running costs. So amateur musicians post covers and wait to see what happens. Generally, the rights owner decides to tolerate them and take the advertising income, but that's not permission to use the song, just toleration of your copyright infringement.

I don't expect the law to change sensibly for at least 20 years, so we just have to learn to live with this situation.
OK, I stand corrected then. So what is your legal opinion of buskers, and people doing festivals and such? What about just sitting in the park and playing songs? What about sitting around a campfire with friends and singing songs? What if someone is walking down the street whistling a tune? I'm not being sarcastic, I am serious. Where is the line? Are they subject to legal action? What form would that legal action take? I've never seen anyone doing that, get arrested. Anyway, I ask this question all of the time, and I get a lot of varied opinions, all of which you have just told me are wrong. I evidently I have no idea what I'm talking about, which would not be surprising, but I can run fast, and I travel light, and my name is Joe, so I'm not too worried about it. But I do wonder about it.
 
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ProfChris

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You only get arrested for criminal law violations; in general, the only copyright infringements which are criminal are commercial uses, and then not all of them.

For most of your questions the answer is that we don't know. This is because copyright law developed to deal with the commercial exploitation of copyright works. So it provides answers if you want to sell CDs, make a movie using music, broadcast a TV programme, etc. The law largely ignored private uses for three reasons: (1) most didn't require copying, (2) they took place in private so evidence would be hard to gather for a legal action and there is a human rights element to interfering with private activities, and (3) these uses weren't commercially significant.

The online world made these private uses more visible and potentially damaging to the commercial interests of rights owners, plus the nature of the technology means that copying has to take place (and copyright law is all about copying). Because of the international treaties which define copyright, radical change is almost impossible to achieve. Additionally, no rights owner ever wants to give up a right, and rights owners have the resources to lobby.

On one specific example, playing in festivals (or bars, or other public venue): this is dealt with by licensing the venue, not the performer.

Playing in the park - not an infringement of copyright unless it's a public performance, no rights owner wants a court to decide that it isn't, so I wouldn't expect anyone to sue. But if you charge admission, the rights owners want their cut.
 

merlin666

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As for busking, I asked to do this at our local farmers market and they wanted me to sign a contract that only originals or traditionals will be performed as they don't have a music license. Bigger festivals may have an umbrella license that would allow buskers to perform covers, but I expect they would also charge more for a busking spot. Busking in our city park is also not allowed and special event performances have to go through permit process. On previous weekend we had a casual acoustic jam in the park and almost got evicted, so I had to call in and make sure this was ok and they told comissionaires to leave us alone from now on.
 

ksiegel

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When I post on YouTube, I do include a disclaimer. I do NOT make any attempt to monetize my videos. I did received one of the "someone has made a claim" notification once, and did nothing. What happened? That particular video now has ads, and I have no part of it. (Seems like almost all of YouTube has ads now...)

There are a few performers that I have specific copyright approvals from - David Mallett, who wrote "The Garden Song" has given me specific permission to post, perform, or play "The Knitting Song", which I based on his work, anywhere I choose. Peter Berryman, of Lou and Peter Berryman, has given me specific permission to post, perform, or play ANYTHING in the Berryman catalog. When I post my disclaimers, I post the exact text that each of these artists sent to me. As I will do for any other artist who gives me permission.

I will not post anything written by a member of the country-rock band "the E GLES", however; They are a particularly nasty bunch, and should all go suck lemons to improve their disposition. I have, however, posted songs that they performed but were written by Jackson Browne and Tom Waits, with no repercussions.

My local Farmer's Market has music, but when they mentioned they didn't have a license, they also asked if anyone had any suggestions for a funding source to get a license. I suggested they should contact a local non-profit foundation for a grant (especially since the Executive Director of tha foundation is also one of the performers who plays at the market, but you didn't hear that from me...)

-Kurt
 

Teddy

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Is it just me or have there been a few of these ancient threads being brought back up by new accounts - with whatever comment being - their only post?
 

merlin666

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Is it just me or have there been a few of these ancient threads being brought back up by new accounts - with whatever comment being - their only post?
I thought it was a feature of the new software to dig up ancient threads that may still have relevance.
 

Wiggy

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On this site we can freely share with others our enthusiasm for learning to play music. Many UU-ers are quite talented, and I thank all those 'Seasonista's for their posts. They continue to show us what can be done at every level.

Having fun and learning to play the best we can, songs we personally like is what this site is all about. Will I ever perform in public? Very unlikely. Will I continue for my own enjoyment and welcome an out-of-the-blue uke-friend who would accept my singing and playing expertise as-is? Absolutely.

I guess that's why this is called the UU :)
 

necessaryrooster

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Personally I would just delete the video rather than let someone else try and make a claim to it or make money off of it.

I saw a few videos on YouTube recently (within the last year or so) of original content creators getting screwed over by this copyright claim nonsense. One was a piano teacher who was teaching Moonlight Sonata, and some random company tried making a claim because it "was similar" to their song, which was just Moonlight Sonata with some extra instrument added to it. She tried going through the whole dispute/appeal process, but apparently the whole YouTube system is run by bots and a real human never looked at her claim.

There was another one where a guy filmed himself diving and posted it, and then one of these "reaction video" people did a reaction video to the guy's video and then claimed it was somehow a violation. Pure garbage and nonsense, and yet YouTube's dispute system is so broken that basically whoever files the dispute first, wins.
 

UkingViking

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Recently I posted a rendition of House of The Rising Sun, a traditional which should not raise any claims.
YouTube identified it as some obscure scandinavian song from a band I never heard of. I wonder if I was that much off key...
Anyway, not I didnt bother complain.
 

Nickie

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When I post on YouTube, I do include a disclaimer. I do NOT make any attempt to monetize my videos. I did received one of the "someone has made a claim" notification once, and did nothing. What happened? That particular video now has ads, and I have no part of it. (Seems like almost all of YouTube has ads now...)

There are a few performers that I have specific copyright approvals from - David Mallett, who wrote "The Garden Song" has given me specific permission to post, perform, or play "The Knitting Song", which I based on his work, anywhere I choose. Peter Berryman, of Lou and Peter Berryman, has given me specific permission to post, perform, or play ANYTHING in the Berryman catalog. When I post my disclaimers, I post the exact text that each of these artists sent to me. As I will do for any other artist who gives me permission.

I will not post anything written by a member of the country-rock band "the E GLES", however; They are a particularly nasty bunch, and should all go suck lemons to improve their disposition. I have, however, posted songs that they performed but were written by Jackson Browne and Tom Waits, with no repercussions.

My local Farmer's Market has music, but when they mentioned they didn't have a license, they also asked if anyone had any suggestions for a funding source to get a license. I suggested they should contact a local non-profit foundation for a grant (especially since the Executive Director of tha foundation is also one of the performers who plays at the market, but you didn't hear that from me...)

-Kurt
Another reason I never liked the Eagles...our band won't cover any of their songs, at my request.