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How I fought YouTube’s ridiculous Content ID (with pictures of every step)

This post has not been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.

I am sure many of you have been following the Content ID vs gamers/vloggers/developers/web personalities/everyone drama. If you haven’t, GamesBeat’s Jeffrey Grubb has covered it very well in three articles (1st2nd3rd). I was digging around for any possible stories that haven’t been covered by the larger websites when I thought to myself “huh. Wouldn’t it be funny if I had been flagged?’

See, last week I posted a 22 minute video of a loading screen for a review I did. Here is the video (hopefully it works?)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGIjxd-tbsg

It was the first video I had ever posted to YouTube by myself (I have done a few videos for Corrupted Cartridge, but Kenny edits and posts them for me). My account isn’t monetized, and I wouldn’t even know how to do make it monetized. The video had 128 views at the time of this article. It has no comments. The review that it came from has less than 300 views and is one of my least popular stories.

Lo and behold, I had this waiting for me:

youtube bs

Note: The video that YouTube claimed as the copyrighted material I used was a song that samples (and was produced by) an artist featured in the game I was playing (more info below). I tried to find videos of each song for you, but both are pretty obscure and one artist didn’t have the song available on any reputable source. It was definitely the same backing track, but one was an authorized sample of the other. 

As I said, I have never posted a YouTube video before this. It is entirely possible that this is just a routine check and not a Content ID issue. Either way, there was no infringement, so I clicked dispute and began to prepare a case in a separate window. This is the next screen that pops up:

youtube bs 2

This screen confused me a little. Maybe I should have picked that bottom option? Once I got to the review claim screen, I tried to go back and pick a new option, but it wouldn’t let me. So I picked the one selected and hit continue.

youtube bs 3

Oh snap, what a scary screen. Now I am almost certain that I clicked the wrong one. I know that famous gamers with channels being affected by Content ID, like Jim Sterling or theRadBrad, are having attorneys or other fancy types sort some of these things out. I am not an expert here, but I can almost guarantee that I am not going to jail by pressing continue.

youtube bs 4

So now I get to this screen. The prompt asks me to explain my reason for dispute briefly, which I flatly ignore. I climb a ten-story soapbox and send them this:

This is a video that I made to go along with a review of Umix Studios’ Basketball Pro Management 2014. The review can be found here: http://corruptedcartridge.com/basketball-pro-management-2014-review.

The copyright claim is not about using imagery from the game, which baffles me because if I was going to be flagged for copyright, you would think it would be for the full 22:42 of gameplay footage and not for 10 seconds of a song. Anyway, I was given a copy of the game by its developer and creator, and even if I was not, I doubt that posting video of gameplay in a review violates the game’s/developer’s/publisher’s terms of use (although it may, and if that is the case I will remove it).

The video does feature a few measures that are shared by Black Kent’s “Nothing Left to Prove” (feat. Rachel Claudio). The footage clearly shows that the song being played at the time of the alleged violation was “soFLY- Laidback.” Now, I assume that Umix has permission to feature “Laidback” in the game, and if they don’t, I can get you in contact with the developer and you can sort it out with him. I assumed that it did, and I did a little research into the French music scene.

The artist soFLY’s “Laidback” was released a calender year before Black Kent’s song, and, upon doing some more digging (which is your responsibility and not mine, but I was curious), I found some evidence to suggest that soFLY was the producer on the aforementioned Black Kent song. I imagine soFLY allowed Black Kent to sample him/her, but, once again, you’d have to ask him/her to know for certain. If you actually listen to the songs, you will notice that the beginning few seconds ARE identical, and that is what CopyBot 5000 (I am trademarking that name by the way) picked up on. After that 10 seconds or so, soFLY’s song remains an instrumental and Black Kent’s song becomes a rap song. I am not sure if that would be considered copyright infringement even if Black Kent didn’t have permission, but I digress.

Look, I am a little sorry for the sarcastic tone in this message. But you have to understand that I have had the same YouTube account for over 10 years, and I have uploaded one video to it. The account is not monetized, nor has it ever been. The video has 127 views at the time I am writing this. This copyright issue means absolutely nothing to me. Nothing would change in my life if my Youtube account were to be shut down. But there are a great many others in the gaming community that are being adversely affected by this process, and copyright strikes could very well mean that they can no longer feed their families. Their channels grew into brands and helped Youtube grow into a universally recognized and virtually unchallenged super-brand, and it is a real shame that this is happening to them.

I sincerely hope that you get this system sorted out. Whether it be my 127 view loading screen video or a 10,000,000 view “Lets Play” video, an automated system shouldn’t be allowed to do something that could ruin an entire industry, especially if that system is flawed. A human could have at least done the legwork that I did and realized that the copyrighted material samples what was in my video.

Isn’t the whole point of the website to produce user-generated videos? You-Tube? I am sure that a great many people that were flagged did steal content, and they should absolutely be punished. I also understand that I and all users accepted the terms and conditions of the site. Buy the ticket, take the ride. But the system isn’t working.

Thanks.

Nice and pretentious right? I even quoted Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which is something I couldn’t wait to do when I started doing this. I probably should have put quotes on that. How funny would it be if I got busted for plagiarism within a dispute of a copyright violation?

Anyway, I am sure my massive block of text will be ignored. Or maybe a massive company will destroy me and all of my journalism dreams, which may leave me out of at least 2 unpaid writing jobs! I saw an opportunity to screenshot each step in the Content ID dispute process, which I hadn’t seen yet online (but I’m sure exists). People who regularly upload videos couldn’t/shouldn’t really do this because of the very real possibility of having their channel deleted or worse. I also saw a chance to take a shot at the issue in a statement made directly to YouTube (well, to whatever lowly employee in charge of handling 128-view video disputes).

I could be wrong about my dispute entirely. Maybe I did violate copyright codes and/or the terms of service, but I just found it interesting that CopyBot 5000 is flagging videos that aren’t monetized and have barely any views. I haven’t heard a response yet, but I will alert you if I do.

Originally posted to Corrupted Cartridge


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