If it’s not Spotify, it’s YouTube.
If it’s not YouTube, it’s Pandora.
If it’s not Pandora, it’s streaming.
If it’s not streaming, it’s free streaming.
If it’s not free streaming, it’s stream ripping.
If it’s not stream ripping it’s torrents.
There is always something or someone which is in the sights of the record labels and their association, the RIAA.
YouTube was criticized for not doing enough to control unlicensed uploads of movies and music. YouTube then provided the entertainment industries with ContentId, a way to claim videos as theirs that other people have uploaded. And by doing so, they could claim any monies paid on the video.
But with any automated system, it’s open to abuse and the labels did a great job abusing it. Legitimate content that had a few seconds of music (which is fair use) to illustrate their story or point in the video got taken down or claimed.
A birthday party video which parents shared that had music in the background got taken down or claimed.
And the uploader had no real rights to fight back. So the labels kept on abusing this process. They even took down their own legal content on occasions.
But after years of complaints, YouTube is finally doing something about it. Or is it.
The story of YouTube changing its policies has been getting publicity as YouTube being this evil monolith against creators but their changes only relate to the manual claims tool available to Copyright Owners. Most big artists are part of major labels and they use ContentID.
And the problematic and automatic ContentID is still the same and still open to the same abuse.
However YouTube has seen a new greedy trend emerge in manually claiming videos. These people claim a small snippet of a video uploaded to YouTube and by default transfer all monies from the YouTube video creator to the Copyright Claimant.
By changing the rules, YouTube is not stopping people from claiming these videos but they are asking for evidence and timestamps which somehow is pissing off the claimants.
And the claimants can still block the video.
To me, it’s much ado about nothing, it’s still the same old world and nothing much has changed. But it still doesn’t stop artists from Tweeting how YouTube is ripping artists off.