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> Accused Of Copyright Infringement, It sucks
Ben Higgins
post Jan 2 2015, 12:04 PM
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I thought I'd share something that happened very recently. Happily, it was resolved easily with a few emails but I'll present the situation as it happened before the resolution.

I'm sure a lot of you are like me in that one of the worst, most insulting and enraging things in life is to be accused of something you didn't do. Nothing gets me thinking of doing violence quite like false accusations !

So, imagine my joy when I receive a notification from Youtube to say one of my videos was taken down on behalf of Warner Music Group. It was one of the songs I'd written for The Reckoning: Vigilante. My first thoughts were "How ? It was just cheap, badly edited handheld camera footage ?" I guess there was no way the imagery could be confused for anything pre existing so it must be a case of the music itself.

I read through the necessary BS that comes with a copyright infringement notification; If you get 2 more strikes, your account will be suspended, no longer able to monetise videos etc.. ok, whatever. Now if I had willingly used material that was from something pre existing and the copyright holders made me aware that they wanted it removed then I would do so willingly. Fair enough. But to remove something immediately with no prior warning of any suggestion of infringement gives one no chance to defend themselves against a case of misidentification. And gives you a 'bad standing' status with your YT account.

Now if I want to dispute this claim I have to submit a counter notification. Ok, I can do that but be warned, if I submit a claim falsely then I will be liable to get my ass sued. I know that I'm not submitting it falsely but somebody with more clout than I have could still decide I was in the wrong, even if I wasn't. So in their eyes I've submitted a false claim even though I haven't. I'm not saying that would definitely happen but it could. And that's enough to put anyone off the idea of making that counter notification. How many YT users can afford to go to court with this stuff ? So, if they manage to scare you off the idea of making a counter notification then the only choice you have is to put up with it and accept the black mark against your account.

I've contacted the claimant directly with the hope of sorting it out amicably because I know they've made a mistake. They've made the claim relating to some band on a label owned by WMG. I know the band hasn't got anything to do with it, I've got no issues with them. But a quick bit of research tells me that their first album was released in 2013, a year after my song 'Vigilante' was made public. (I wrote the song in 2011). I later saw they released an EP in 2011 but apart from scanning the song titles, I can't see anything that could possibly relate to my material.

I wrote the song partly because of the London riots, all the looting and general idiotry that was going on. I definitely didn't take any ideas from any other songs or media creations.

I'm sure some of you have been through a similar situation. Nothing hits you in the gut quite like the feeling of a big corporation reaching out from the void and touching your life. It feels personal, even though it isn't. Thankfully I got it sorted but for a short while I was full of the typical feelings of injustice, prepared to fight tooth and nail etc.

So, my thoughts today are about plagiarism smile.gif

In music, we know that we borrow ideas and are influenced from each other. That's how it works. Just like language. It requires each other to blossom over the decades and centuries.

So, we have the obvious points of subconscious influence and cultural influence. Then there's the subject of paying tribute to something. Movies do it a lot. You might see a reference to some other famous piece of work, inserted into a movie as a mark of respect. It can also happen in music too.

When does something stop being an obvious reference to something and when does it become plagiarism ?



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jstcrsn
post Jan 2 2015, 03:58 PM
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obviously, when those with enough money , say so ohmy.gif
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bleez
post Jan 2 2015, 04:54 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jan 2 2015, 11:04 AM) *
When does something stop being an obvious reference to something and when does it become plagiarism ? [/i]

Its a very interesting question, I have no idea whatsoever though mellow.gif There are sooo many examples of 'borrowed' riffs that seem to be largely accepted and yet others get pulled up. Im quite sure if Jimmy Page released the Foo Fighters track 'Something from nothing' he would be slaughtered for it!
Avenged sevenfold seemed to get away with trying to write their version of the black album by being really upfront about it, maybe that's the way or maybe its more like what crsn said..... its depends on the money involved.

Ben, can you say which song it was that caused the issue? I'd love to hear it.


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You say 'minor pentatonic ' like it's a bad thing
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klasaine
post Jan 2 2015, 05:37 PM
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QUOTE (jstcrsn @ Jan 2 2015, 06:58 AM) *
obviously, when those with enough money , say so ohmy.gif


What he said.
It's also easier to 'catch' it now too. There are program algorithms that go looking for similarities. When they find something they send the letter and in this case have youtube take it down. Before the internet/youtube you'd get the same kind of big scary legal letter and the same offer to file a counter claim ... if you think you've got the time, money, legal strength and balls to do that - ?
I am in no way assuming any guilt on your part Ben. This happens a lot now and much of the time for stupid and completely insignificant reasons. What exactly were they objecting to? Content, the title, ?

This post has been edited by klasaine: Jan 2 2015, 05:42 PM


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Ben Higgins
post Jan 2 2015, 06:11 PM
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QUOTE (bleez @ Jan 2 2015, 04:54 PM) *
Ben, can you say which song it was that caused the issue? I'd love to hear it.


I don't even know what song it was supposed to have infringed. The band was Crown The Empire

QUOTE (klasaine @ Jan 2 2015, 05:37 PM) *
What he said.
It's also easier to 'catch' it now too. There are program algorithms that go looking for similarities. When they find something they send the letter and in this case have youtube take it down. Before the internet/youtube you'd get the same kind of big scary legal letter and the same offer to file a counter claim ... if you think you've got the time, money, legal strength and balls to do that - ?
I am in no way assuming any guilt on your part Ben. This happens a lot now and much of the time for stupid and completely insignificant reasons. What exactly were they objecting to? Content, the title, ?


They did acknowledge it was reported in error, which was nice to have confirmed. It may well have been an automatic computerised process too as I doubt any human would confuse my material for theirs or vice versa


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klasaine
post Jan 2 2015, 06:38 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jan 2 2015, 09:11 AM) *
I don't even know what song it was supposed to have infringed. The band was Crown The Empire

They did acknowledge it was reported in error, which was nice to have confirmed. It may well have been an automatic computerised process too as I doubt any human would confuse my material for theirs or vice versa


Exactly. Because all this shite is now done 'electronically' ... no actual human looked or listened.


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Todd Simpson
post Jan 2 2015, 09:05 PM
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Sadly, as CRSN mentioned, those with the gold and the lawyers often make the rules which can be frustrating for the rest of us. The whole thing sounds like a crap deal to me. Youtube uses visual pattern matching algorithms to make these accusations and keep the majors happy.


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Ben Higgins
post Jan 3 2015, 10:17 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jan 2 2015, 09:05 PM) *
Sadly, as CRSN mentioned, those with the gold and the lawyers often make the rules which can be frustrating for the rest of us. The whole thing sounds like a crap deal to me. Youtube uses visual pattern matching algorithms to make these accusations and keep the majors happy.


Yep, it doth suck !

But forewarned is forearmed... so if any of you guys ever have a problem like this, just try contacting the appropriate parties first with a polite, but concerned, email and it should negate the need to go down the counter notification route. But when it first happens it can be a panic inducer which is not pleasant !


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