Youtube Guitar Lessons

Copyright matters affecting music and musicians.
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Stonebridge85
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Youtube Guitar Lessons

Post by Stonebridge85 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:01 pm

I have a youtube channel which I use to upload guitar lessons of popular songs. Most of these videos are monetised, which means I earn an amount from advertisers who use my videos to promote their products.

I recently recieved a "matched third party content" notice on one of my highest viewed videos. it is for the Maroon 5 song "Payphone". I have used no audio from the original recording or sing any of the lyrics. All I do is show how to play a chord progression and guitar riff.

The notice reads

Your video may include the following copyrighted content:

"Payphone", musical composition administered by:
Kobalt Music Publishing
Warner Chappell
BMG_Rights_Management
UMPG Publishing


Am I within my rights to dispute the claim made by Warner Chappell.

The options I have are:

I believe that this copyright claim is not valid, because:

I own the CD/DVD or bought the song online.

I'm not selling the video or making any money from it.

I gave credit in the video.

The video is my original content and I own all of the rights to it.

I have a licence or written permission from the proper rights holder to use this material.

My use of the content meets the legal requirements for fair use or fair dealing under applicable copyright laws.

The content is in the public domain or is not eligible for copyright protection.


Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Gareth

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:59 am

Hi Gareth,
If I have understood your question correctly, you are showing a video which you made yourself, demonstrating the fingering for the chords, based on the song Payphone, with the audio content coming from your playing and not the original recording.
If that is correct then I think there is a possibility of infringement here, as you are performing part of the song to the public which is a right reserved to the composer. The issue is whether the amount of the song you perform amounts to a substantial part. I imagine that you demonstrate the more important riffs etc from the song, so it is possible that it would amount to a substantial part. But it could be that it qualifies as fair dealing for the purposes of criticism or review, although I think this is pretty tenuous as a defence.
It would seem that Kobalt Music Publishing / Warner Chappell may own the performing rights, although Maroon 5 don't appear on the list of clients shown on Kobalt's website (not that that is conclusive). The reason they have come after you is probably the fact that you have used the words 'Maroon 5' and 'payphone' in your Youtube listing (along with very many other people by the looks of things!). They use bots to automatically search for terms like these for all their clients, in order to recover royalties and prevent pirating.
You could refute the infringement claim under the heading "My use of the content meets the legal requirements for fair use or fair dealing under applicable copyright laws" but there is no guarantee that the rights owner won't take the matter further, which could include full litigation. Alternatively you could ask about licensing your use, which you can do through Kobalt (assuming they do hold the rights) or through PRS although since the latter's fixed rate low usage online licences start at £2,000 pa, you may want to give that a miss!
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

Stonebridge85
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Post by Stonebridge85 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:24 am

Hi Andy,

Thanks for the very informative reply. I would not want to risk disputing the claim on the chance that the matter is taken further.

It seems to me that this is a grey area within music copyright as youtube is filled with people making guitar lesson videos and monetising them. If I am infringing Maroon 5 copyright then all the other videos that demonstrate songs must be doing the same and we are all breaking copyright law.

Thanks again Andy

Gareth :)

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