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Andrew Reid

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Has anyone figured this out yet...

Now we have Content ID and record labels automatically get streaming revenue from YouTube when a song is used, are video-artists basically allowed to use any music track they like over videos for non-commercial use on YouTube? (Yes I am aware the video is demonetised)

Just want to be clear that the musician / label is getting paid for streaming, therefore it's legal usage?

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It's not legal, as you're still infringing copyright. They might not 'care' as they'll have the streaming revenue, but still, it's not legal. You probably won't get in much trouble by it, but if you keep at it, depending on how hostile the label is, your account could get copyright strikes. If it as three... then your channel will be banned.

Better go with some stock music instead. Lots out there, like artlist, and they've got some good stuff.

Hope this helps - sorry the news isn't brighter.

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I do go with stock music.

But I would like to have this question answered anyway. Surely it is not copyright infringement if YouTube is paying royalties to the musician under a legal agreement between them and the record labels?

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It doesn't work like that - there's no license for you to use the music so you can't legally do it. YouTube just keeps them happy by giving them the ad money, but there's nothing in their terms of service that say that it's ok to use music without a license because they have some kind of agreement with the labels. Just doesn't work like that unfortunately :( sorry Andrew!

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Ok thanks, so that's one answer.

Now let's dive further into the details.

I am not talking about commercial work on YouTube without a license for the sound track.

We are talking here about artistic experimentation and non-commercial use on YouTube. If YouTube is paying the royalties, per stream, from their ad revenue, how much extra on top of that is a record producer liable to take? Are they getting 100% of their fair share, 50% or 10%? What are the figures?

Let's say "JOHN" uploads a camera test with a Radiohead sound track and Content ID demonetises it and every time it streams, Radiohead's label gets a share of the YouTube ad revenue. That process is entirely legal, isn't it? Where is the illegal part?

I am not saying it is definitely the right thing to do and 100% safe. But I am asking the question. I want to know FOR SURE what's what.

And there is such a thing in copyright law as the fair use clause as well.

These include - commentary, search engines, criticism, parody, news reporting, research, and scholarship.

So if you use a portion of a film clip to comment on the cinematography, or you review a film and show a scene from it, that qualifies as fair use.

I'd like for us to understand copyright better, and to get a film grasp on what we CAN and can't do. It's important new YouTubers know what's what.

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There is still a permission element to the use of the music that has to be sought, which obviously varies on things like territory, type of medium, length of license etc.

Its bad enough if you just want to cover a song yourself but if you want to use the original recording then its even more of a minefield because you are having to deal with whoever owns the mechanical rights as well.

That is an area where rights owners - and lawyers - had some significant paydays with legal action against the use of samples.

The case of "Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve where they lost 100% of their royalties even when they thought they had got the right permissions being one sobering example


Depending on their agreements with their piblishing companies, artists themselves can also often refuse permission if they don't want their music associated with something, such as Springsteen stopping Reagan using "Born In The USA" and Talking Heads stopping "Road To Nowhere" being used in an attack ad in another political campaign.

Although the latter is ideally placed to become our new national anthem post Brexit.

As Jon says, when it comes to YouTube it is actually easier to deal with using their tools than if you were trying to clear it yourself for an independent film etc.

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@Andrew Reid

Don't do it.

You run the risk of being permanently and ubiquitously blacklisted by Google.

Fighting DMCA strikes without a physical contact at YouTube is risky.

There are instances of channels being demonetized for using music the creators had paid to license.

I'd also stear clear of royalty free and public domain. Lots of abuse in the past of entities claiming control and stealing revenue.


Safest way is to pay for an original piece or do it yourself.

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everyone who says that copyright infringement is illegal is correct

@Andrew Reid have you ever tried making music? it might be easier than you think

i dont wanna say that a fucking monkey could use garageband on an ipad but... i mean a gorilla definitely could. they can learn american sign language

edit: look, heres an actual video of me editing


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Also to consider is that there can sometimes be a difference between something being illegal and being treated like it was illegal and getting banned from a site.

I've seen a few examples of sites like YouTube (or PayPal) blocking users for some reason and then not responding to appeals.  Being in the right but locked out of your account until you take legal action against YT to force them to re-activate your account isn't a great position to be in, and unfortunately the MPAA / RIAA lobbying about copyright enforcement is continually threatening to change the law from being innocent-until-proven-guilty to the other way around, so these companies basically do whatever the copyright holders want - false positives be damned...

Having said that my impression was that large youtubers tend to use whatever they want and just demonetise a video that has a copyright claim.  Of course, if a big youtuber complains to YT then they listen, but the rest of us might not experience the same level of service.

In a sense it might be a choice between playing it safe or exercising your rights but having to fight a potentially unfair battle for them.

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There the letter of the law and then there's the reality of it.

There's a lot of user contributions and mood pieces on YouTube using high profile songs by high profile artists and they are allowed to stay up there, they are not DMCA'ed by the label, reason being the record industry is making money through YouTube streaming and a large proportion of that money is coming from third party 'unauthorised' use of the music, not an official band channel or record label presence. So they have no interest in taking it down. If you are using a Pink Floyd track for a wedding video you shot and got paid for, that's a different matter. That is cheating the artist out of a licensing fee and their permission.

I am using Epidemic Sound (prefer it to The Music Bed) for music on my EOSHD videos at the moment but something important is MISSING. I miss the early days on Vimeo where DSLR shooters would regularly upload a camera test with something like a haunting Pink Floyd track and not one of those mood-pieces made money. It was purely artistic expression and fair use, appropriation of an art form. Now with Vimeo and content ID those are flagged instantly and removed. Not so on YouTube where they stay up and earn money for the music industry.

I think artists should have fair use on the things they do for art. They are not trying to profit or steal. The videos made no money yet support ad revenue for the copyright holder, it's a win-win. It's officially agreed between YouTube and the copyright holders. The video is just personal expression. Obviously you can try this with a licensed track from a library, sure. It's not the same. The mood and quality of the library music JUST DOES NOT compete with the world's best bands and artists, especially the lyrics.

I'd regret to see that side of artistic expression closed off to cinematographers and their personal projects. To take someone's lyrics and add cinematic moments and movement, is very special to me. Literally poetry in motion.

When it comes to the pro world of video - of course you should PAY and seek the right permissions and right license.

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Hey Andrew,

i have a friend who is working at ice, one of the major revenue calculation?!? Companies in Europe ( or Germany), this basically works like it is working for parties and events.

You play certain stuff at the event and the you'll pay GEMA for the individual tracks played or something like it. YT works the same way ( in Germany). Ice is checking views and then giving this to GEMA or who ever, not sure, which is billing YT. GEMA was or is in big money fights with YT. Old story of national against international Duda.

 Long story short, event people don't ask individual record labels if they can play a track, they deal with GEMA and are free to play whatever they want. What I am saying, just as a general feeling,  in Germany all rights holder will be served if you play (upload/view) a track on YT and Tag the song so it can be then counted by Ice. Not sure if it helps, good luck! Maybe read some at ICE. Will ask my matey about it next time....

....sorry more jibberish, I think here it is also the same for doc film stuff news etc. they use what they want and then rights holders can be served by GEMA afaik this is how it works here.

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Just because a cop didn't stop you driving too fast does not make it right to drive too fast. Even if the cop takes money under the table to look the other way.

Many artists seems fine with ppl using them, and would probably not be as big if there where not, you just need one of the not so happy artists tho to get really hurt by the system.

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Copyright enforcement on youtube is downright crazy bonkers. 
It has long been broken. 
Probably we're at the point we should advocate chucking out the whole copyright system and coming up with something new, as it is by now too broken and messy to be fixed. 



White noise video on YouTube hit by five copyright claims

A musician who made a 10-hour long video of continuous white noise - indistinct electronic hissing - has said five copyright infringement claims have been made against him.




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4 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

Anyone that uploads a 10 hour video of White Noise needs to be put down, let alone sued!

Some people love to sleep to this. 
So 10 hours is a perfect length. 
People have many different needs/wants/preferences. 
Thus my view is if it doesn't harm me, then let them do whatever they want! Even if it is uploading 10 hour long white noise videos....

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4 hours ago, Dan Sherman said:

This is what I do, or i use the free stuff, because a lot of times i don't want vocals anyway.


YouTube's music library is dire. It is fine as elevator muzak! How, in any way, does it compare to Radiohead for cinematic images?

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