The Dreaded YouTube / Warner Chappell question

Copyright matters affecting music and musicians.
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Stevie.a1
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The Dreaded YouTube / Warner Chappell question

Post by Stevie.a1 » Fri May 06, 2011 9:21 am

I recently recorded some songs on my phone at a live concert and subsequently posted them on YouTube thinking it would be nice to share them with friends and the outside world in general. I was surprised by the result on two of the five videos I posted. (Lyin’ Eyes) and (Hotel California)

The links to the posted videos were given, but when I clicked them to review them the audio track had been Disables by YouTube. These are the emails I received:
Your video, Ultimate Eagles - Lyin' Eyes, may have content that is owned or licensed by Warner Chappell.
No action is required on your part; however, if you're interested in learning how this affects your video, please visit the Content ID Matches section of your account for more information.

Sincerely,
- The YouTube Team

Your video, Ultimate Eagles - Hotel California, may have content that is owned or licensed by Warner Chappell.

No action is required on your part; however, if you're interested in learning how this affects your video, please visit the Content ID Matches section of your account for more information.

Sincerely,
- The YouTube Team

The songs are by the band Eagles and were being performed by a Tribute band Ultimate Eagles. I disputed the items in question asking if they could explain why and that as YouTube vigorously promote “Mobile Sharing” I was very surprised by their response. Within about 30 Minutes they are cleared back with the audio track un-blocked.

I have since found out that this is happening a lot with Warner Chappell. It would seem that they are monitoring certain songs and are instantly blocking them. Which in my mind is some what unfair and must be infringing some sort of freedoms??

I know copyright law is a complete minefield so if there is a chance you could give me your considered opinion, I’d be grateful.

I've noted your requirement ref urls and removed them

Stevie.a1
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Post by Stevie.a1 » Fri May 06, 2011 9:23 am

Hi BTW. The band and the venure both conform with PRS requirements.

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Fri May 06, 2011 11:40 am

Hi Stevie, As a music lover I'm sure you are aware that record companies generally are being very pro-active in their attempts to stamp out piracy. They employ other companies to constantly examine sites like YouTube and Vimeo for items they think may have infringed their clients copyright. Given that hundreds of thousands of items are posted every day, they naturally use computer technology to search on keywords, such as the titles of songs, and the same programs also automatically issue so-called DMCA take-down notices to the content hosts. YouTube know that they face being sued if they do not act, so tend to take the easy route, possibly again without any human being actually looking at the disputed material. I suspect that the first time a human being becomes truly engaged in the process is when a poster appeals, as you did. Then as it becomes clear that this was not the Eagles themselves, but an authorised use of the lyrics by a tribute band, YouTube realised there was no basis for the Warner Chappell complaint.
Technically speaking Warner Chappell have committed an offence under US law in issuing a takedown notice which makes a false claim, however as far as I am aware the US courts have not so far found any record company (or other complainant) guilty where the take-down notice has been issued by a computer.
On an equally technical legal issue, you may well have infringed the copyright in the performance of the tribute band by publishing your recording! Let's hope they don't complain to YouTube.
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

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Post by Stevie.a1 » Fri May 06, 2011 5:42 pm

Thanks Andy. This is facinating stuff. I think I'm safe from the guys (I hope :) ) Incidently The Hotel California vid has again been taken down.

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