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YouTube Identifies Birdsong As Copyrighted Music 730

New submitter eeplox writes "I make nature videos for my YouTube channel, generally in remote wilderness away from any possible source of music. And I purposely avoid using a soundtrack in my videos because of all the horror stories I hear about Rumblefish filing claims against public domain music. But when uploading my latest video, YouTube informed me that I was using Rumblefish's copyrighted content, and so ads would be placed on my video, with the proceeds going to said company. This baffled me. I disputed their claim with YouTube's system — and Rumblefish refuted my dispute, and asserted that: 'All content owners have reviewed your video and confirmed their claims to some or all of its content: Entity: rumblefish; Content Type: Musical Composition.' So I asked some questions, and it appears that the birds singing in the background of my video are Rumblefish's exclusive intellectual property."
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YouTube Identifies Birdsong As Copyrighted Music

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  • Lies (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 26, 2012 @05:46PM (#39166687)

    "All content owners have reviewed your video and confirmed their claims to some or all of its content."

    Complete bold-faced lie.

    • Re:Lies (Score:5, Insightful)

      by durrr ( 1316311 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @05:48PM (#39166715)
      Oh not at all, you see, unless you're a big corporation with a lot of lawyers, you can't own any content. So they look "oh it's the little guy again" and "yeah this content would be nice to own" and with that, it's theirs.
      • Profit & Lies (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Mateorabi ( 108522 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @05:58PM (#39166793) Homepage
        Of course I'm also sure that none of this has anything to do with the fact that YouTube gets a cut of those ad proceeds. And that a small user posting original content would probably opt not to insert ads, such that YouTube would be then getting a cut of zero.

        I'm also willing to venture that after going through the figleaf of a process of he-said, she-said, he-said, that there is little recourse. My guess is that any future attempt by a little guy to appeal/refute/re-dispute a big copyright holders' refutation of the original dispute will fall down some big black rabbit hole of non-responsiveness from YouTube corporate bureaucracy, complete with lack of any personal points of contact for trying to actually resolve this.
        • Re:Profit & Lies (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anthony Mouse ( 1927662 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @07:00PM (#39167217)

          Of course I'm also sure that none of this has anything to do with the fact that YouTube gets a cut of those ad proceeds. And that a small user posting original content would probably opt not to insert ads, such that YouTube would be then getting a cut of zero.

          I kind of doubt that's it. I mean sure, they get a cut of the ads, but YouTube actually has to care about what YouTube users think. There is, after all, no ad revenue if people stop posting new videos.

          It seems to me more likely that the entertainment industry is behind it. Recall that YouTube has been trying to get Hollywood to let it compete with Hulu. Of course, Hollywood is run by tyrannical despots who claim to own everything anyone has ever created, so this sort of behavior is right up their alley. And, Hollywood has never cared one lick what the users think about it.

          I mean think about it: Who is more likely to demand something user hostile? A company that makes its living based on users liking its service better than those of competitors, or a cartel that makes its money by filing lawsuits and screwing artists out of contractually agreed royalties?

          • Re:Profit & Lies (Score:5, Insightful)

            by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @08:19PM (#39167765) Journal

            There is, after all, no ad revenue if people stop posting new videos.

            Until there's a reasonable alternative, people aren't going to "stop posting new videos".

            YouTube's revenue is now all about their deals with other content providers, because their ad revenue is going to stay pretty stable (or go up).

            This story, about Rumblefish claiming to represent the owner of the rights to a birdsong makes me sick. I think the target of our anger should be Rumblefish entirely. They're the bullies. They're the bad guys.

            This is only partly a job for Anonymous. I don't know who Rumblefish really represents, but I'm guessing that somewhere down the line is someone who cares what the public thinks. Maybe it's a record label who has an artist who makes them a lot of money. A targeted campaign directed at that artist might well make an impression.

            We're just going to have to make an example of some people to make doing business the way Rumblefish does business unacceptable. I don't know enough about them to know who to target, but unless we cause some pain somewhere, nobody's going to care. We have seen wealthy, powerful organizations brought to heel recently by public outrage. We're going to have to unleash holy hell on somebody, somewhere.

            • by raehl ( 609729 ) <raehl311@yahoo.GAUSScom minus math_god> on Sunday February 26, 2012 @08:50PM (#39167927) Homepage

              If you want to compete with the big boys, you have to think like the big boys.

              Sue Rumblefish for $150,000 for each time your video is played with their advertising on it.

              Even better, file as a class action, that way you and your lawyer get paid for every case of Rumblefish doing this, and everyone else gets a coupon.

            • Re:Profit & Lies (Score:5, Interesting)

              by peatbakke ( 52079 ) <peatNO@SPAMpeat.org> on Sunday February 26, 2012 @10:36PM (#39168473) Homepage

              Ack! I wish this hadn't been marked as "Insightful," although I understand why ... there have been a lot of shitty plays in the copyright world, and there are some big organizations that are clearly threatened by the Internet and Internet culture. Righthaven and others have (rightfully) made a lot of people very skeptical.

              But ... that's not what we do. :) Rumblefish works specifically for independent artists, not labels or rights organizations. The company has been around for over a decade, helping get independent music placed in films, advertisements, etc. It's still a very small company -- the founder and owner (also a musician) has posted here on the thread, and I'm around to answer technical questions about how the pieces fit together (IANAL, but I am the Lead Architect -- look me up on the Rumblefish website).

              It sucks when things don't go right, especially when it's such a hot button issue, and we're really interested in doing the right thing -- both for independent musicians and video creators. We're working on resolving the issue with eeplox's video. We're here in the thread to answer questions.

              Believe me ... everyone wins when good music is inexpensive and readily available on YouTube.

              • Re:Profit & Lies (Score:5, Insightful)

                by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @01:17AM (#39169281) Homepage Journal

                This isn't the kind of thing that can be put down to an honest mistake.

                The claim that it had been reviewed by the content owner is obviously false becaue it's actually impossible for you to have done so.

                You lie, and you lie systematically.

                • Re:Profit & Lies (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by paper tape ( 724398 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @07:39AM (#39170891)
                  The folks from Rumblefish are trying to do damage control - which at this point, any reasonable company would do.

                  It is possible that the "reviews" were done by an automated system on their side, which would be bad.

                  It is also possible that the "reviews" were done by a lazy human on their side who if there is any justice in the world, is in the process of being fired.

                  If the former case is true, it was a bad business model by the company which is now coming back to bite them.

                  If the latter case is true, then the company representatives posting here may just be decent people trying to make the best of a bad situation.

                  Either way, I'd say give them the benefit of the doubt. If the bogus infringement notices continue after this, we can break out the pitchforks and torches - otherwise it can be counted as a lesson learned.
              • Re:Profit & Lies (Score:5, Insightful)

                by James_Duncan8181 ( 588316 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @02:16AM (#39169567) Homepage
                Again: Your company lied on the review, and tried to claim birdsong as your own whilst defaming eeplox by accusing him/her of being a pirate. I hope you feel ashamed of the place you work for, and the way in which it just tried to misappropriate revenue from work you had no part in. I only wish there were criminal sanctions for the person at your company who made the false counterclaim refutation; it isn't at all reasonable to have believed it was copyrighted/represented by yourselves. Please explain how the decision to make a refutation was determined, given that it is a legal statement.
              • Re:Profit & Lies (Score:5, Insightful)

                by rk ( 6314 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @05:19AM (#39170311) Journal

                All the emoticons typed since the internet began won't change the fact that this is, in fact, what you do. Your company is engaging in scummy behavior and you're defending it with a shrug off "It sucks when things don't go right."

                Oh, I just quoted you. Maybe you can come after slashdot for the ad revenue whenever someone reads my post.

        • Re:Profit & Lies (Score:5, Insightful)

          by im_thatoneguy ( 819432 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @07:25PM (#39167381)

          Which is why we should go to the company directly:
          http://rumblefish.com/about-us.php [rumblefish.com]

          Email them and let them know that as a potential customer and citizen you find their behavior unacceptable.

      • Re:Lies (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MrLint ( 519792 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @07:25PM (#39167385) Journal

        Which would be conspiracy to defraud. Other than your sarcasm, this isn't actually to far from that. Google makes money on false claims, the media company makes money on false claims. They claim it was reviewed. The claim of it being reviewed, and if it not in fact copyrighted, that attaches intent. The counter claim would have to be 'error'. However to go to court and claim error of the reviewers, in the case of birdsong, would be tantamount to claiming abject incompetence, bringing in to question every other alleged review.

    • Re:Lies (Score:5, Funny)

      by pruss ( 246395 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @06:07PM (#39166843) Homepage

      It depends how you take the quantifiers. :-) In first-order logic, "all As are Bs" is automatically true if there are no As. In the case at hand, there are no content owners, because nobody owns the bird songs (not even the birds). So, all content owners have reviewed the video and confirmed their claims. Likewise, all content owners have seven legs.

      • Re:Lies (Score:5, Funny)

        by eriklou ( 1027240 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @06:39PM (#39167079)

        Chewbacca's lawyers called, they want his defense back.

      • Re:Lies (Score:4, Informative)

        by Mabhatter ( 126906 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @07:33PM (#39167435)

        This is the findamental problem with the USA system that "free" and "public domain" are not "owners" so they have no rights because public domain can't hire lawyers... As much was said when Lessing tried to argue that Public Domain needed a voice in copyright legleslation to the SCOUS.

        So pretty much the first person to record and file gets the copyright... The law has no mechanism to verify that "nobody" can claim something...

      • Re:Lies (Score:5, Informative)

        by mpoulton ( 689851 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @10:28PM (#39168437)

        In the case at hand, there are no content owners, because nobody owns the bird songs (not even the birds).

        Not true. The content owner is the person who made the recording. It is copyrighted, and the owner can potentially pursue a claim against Rumblefish for infringement if Rumblefish has placed ads on the video and profited from it by claiming it's theirs. My law firm would be interested in representing this uploader (and others). That's the kind of case we would love.

    • Re:Lies (Score:5, Funny)

      by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @06:33PM (#39167029)
      Clearly you've never heard Bjork sing.
    • Re:Lies (Score:5, Interesting)

      by kent_eh ( 543303 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @09:32PM (#39168165)
      Next letter:
      Please identify exactly what work I am infringing, as my attorney is having difficulty finding similarity between my soundtrack and any performance by artists represented by your organization.
    • Re:Lies (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 27, 2012 @05:43AM (#39170443)

      Hey it's Paul Anthony from Rumblefish. This claim has been released by Rumblefish as it was both A: improperly ID'd by YouTube's content ID system as a song from one of our artists and B: one of our content ID representatives mistakenly reinstated the claim. As soon as it came to our attention today that we had made a mistake, we promptly released the claim and I reached out to eeplox via YouTube to let him know.

      I've been responding in an /IAmA on everything here:

      Thx and our apologies.


      Paul Anthony | Founder & CEO | Rumblefish

  • ridiculous (Score:4, Interesting)

    by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @05:46PM (#39166691)

    When will this copyright madness end?

    • Re:ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 26, 2012 @05:49PM (#39166721)

      Absolutely. The internet is more akin to the Wild West of yesteryear. Every company is out to commit highway robbery.

      Darn those varmints.

    • Re:ridiculous (Score:5, Informative)

      by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @05:58PM (#39166791)

      When will this copyright madness end?

      In less than 200 million years, since by then Earth will have been rendered virtually uninhabitable from the point of view of intelligent animal life by the constantly rising power output of the Sun. So, nothing to worry about.

    • by rrohbeck ( 944847 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @06:59PM (#39167207)

      Sue the birds for using copyrighted content all the time.
      Damn pirates.

  • Prior Art (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 26, 2012 @05:48PM (#39166719)

    Dear Rumblefish,
          I see that you are using my music without proper authorization.
    -- God
    p.s. I could use ad's, hmmmm... Naa, Smite works just as well...

  • by silentbozo ( 542534 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @05:50PM (#39166731) Journal
    1. Go to the woods, record birdsong.
    2. Make a bunch of videos and post to YouTube
    3. Wait for takedown
    4. Sue Rumblefish in small claims court for the ad revenue they got from Google.
    5. Profit!!!!
  • by TheCouchPotatoFamine ( 628797 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @05:51PM (#39166741)

    Copyright is STRICTLY for the benefit of society. If we didn't think it profited us, we'd just steal all of everyone's crap (and, in some cases, society would vastly benefit; anything having to do with music, not so much). Mark my words, industry: copyright means NOTHING if it's abused and it justifies my attitudes on the subject (y'all know what i mean)

    • by aaronb1138 ( 2035478 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @06:37PM (#39167053)

      Actually, music itself would likely benefit greatly, just not the labels. As piracy has already demonstrated, free access to studio recordings has made the consumer perception of the value of live concerts greater. That is why ticket prices keep outpacing inflation.

      Anecdotally, I've personally noted a pretty good number of once free venues switching to cover charges for better known (locally) acts which are remain unsigned by major labels. At least on my personal scale, this demonstrates positive force towards greater valuation of live music.

      Lower prices and increased distribution of copyright material increases the overall quality of published works. A great example is the textbook versus subject oriented paperback categories. Textbooks exist in an overpriced, price fixed copyright vacuum. Their quality continues to remain virtually unchanged for 30+ years, making occasional incremental improvements and frequent vast drops in quality. On the other hand, books written for the layman about various sciences and arts continue to improve, drop in inflation adjusted price, and increase in availability. The very pressure of reduced prices and increased availability forces authors to review their peer / competition work and produce something better.

  • You know... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Stanislav_J ( 947290 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @05:54PM (#39166753)
    I've always said copyright is for the birds... (Well, someone had to say it!)
  • by Vinegar Joe ( 998110 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @05:59PM (#39166795)

    A mockingbird, could it?

  • Yeesh (Score:5, Funny)

    by sixtyeight ( 844265 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @06:02PM (#39166813)

    YouTube: Blurring the line between the RIAA and Monsanto.

    • Re:Yeesh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @06:33PM (#39167031)
      In a contest of douchbaggery between the RIAA and Monsanto... I'd have to say the RIAA wins. Monsanto loses points because they do actually produce something truely useful, while the RIAA member's only purpose is to sit in between artists and listeners and take a cut. A position that made perfect sense pre-internet when getting music distributed required a substantial investment in disc manufacture and trucking, but is increasingly obsolete now.
  • Ineteresting... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nugoo ( 1794744 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @06:02PM (#39166817)
    Huh... I have reviewed, say, The Hurt Locker, and I confirm that it's in the public domain.
  • by mykepredko ( 40154 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @06:04PM (#39166835) Homepage

    Rumblefish owns that as well.

    And you know you're going to have to pay through the nose on that one!


  • by Required Snark ( 1702878 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @06:10PM (#39166869)
    Contact your US senator and House members. It won't do any good, but it is very easy to do. If enough voters do this it can have an influence. It's like voting; if you don't bother to vote you have abandoned your right to have an opinion. Posting on Slashdot will get you exposure, but I don't see how it will help much.
    • by Dhalka226 ( 559740 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @06:56PM (#39167189)

      Step #1 is to contact your representatives, yes. I would expand it beyond simply the three who directly represent you and include anybody in your state's delegation, particularly those who support nonsense laws that make things like this possible. No reason not to expand it even more than that if you want.

      Step #2 is to see if you can get a news organization to bite. There may or may not be any traction here, but it's worth the effort.

      Step #3 is to lawyer up. Try to find a lawyer who won't take a fee up front, either one who takes a cut of the winnings or one willing to do it pro bono. It shouldn't be too hard considering this is pretty much a guaranteed victory. You already have evidence of their outright fraud. In particular you already have them stating on the record that they investigated the matter -- meaning when you prove it is bullshit, you're already 90% of the way to proving they did it with malicious intent. If this process is some sort of automated DMCA frontend, you've got them for fraud under the DMCA as well and can seek punitive damages for the abuse of process.

      More to the point, they'll never let it get to trial. What jury in the world is going to believe the idea that some idiot can come along and get 130ish year exclusive right to the generic sound of birds singing--thousands of years into recorded history and hundreds of years after audio recordings became possible? It's not going to happen and they know it's not going to happen. They're counting on being able to bully and intimidate you into doing what they want and like most bullies, confronting them is going to send them running for the hills. In this case, it will likely send them running with a nice little check in your pocket for your troubles.

      It's a hassle, yes; probably more hassle than it's worth. It's a risk too, which is why it's important to find a lawyer who will work for a cut of the settlement rather than a hourly fee. You certainly don't want to be bankrupted by winning. But it's also the only way there is any chance of this kind of idiotic bullying to stop. Maybe you can't afford to fight; maybe rolling over and letting them have their way is the best choice for you in your situation. Nobody will judge you for it. But if you can fight, fight. These kind of victories are victories for everybody, not just yourself.

  • by ChipMonk ( 711367 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @06:10PM (#39166875) Journal
    is a Metallica song with birds in the background.

    Lars, meet Rumblefish. Rumblefish, Lars.

    Who's got the popcorn for this show?
  • Slander of title (Score:5, Informative)

    by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @06:18PM (#39166923)

    You own the copyright to the original recording you made of bird songs from nature.

    They own the copyright to their recording of bird songs from nature, but not to yours.

    For them to claim copyright to your recording, there must be an original artistic element they created that you have actually reproduced.

    • by GoodNewsJimDotCom ( 2244874 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @06:57PM (#39167201)
      Yet bird songs might copy each other's tunes. So his bird song might sound the same as one they recorded. This is because birds have no copyright and reproduce other bird's songs as their own. They then use this to attract a mate and pass the other bird's intellectual property to their kids. Not only do they steal other birds song, but they show that if copying songs is legal, it makes all the birds lazy and not want to come up with new songs. This is why pirates always carried parrots on their ships. The parrot is the most efficient bird at stealing songs back when we didn't have computers and the Internet.
  • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @06:22PM (#39166953) Journal
    ... as a clear example of why SOPA and PIPA would have been a disaster for the Internet.
  • by rueger ( 210566 ) * on Sunday February 26, 2012 @06:27PM (#39166985) Homepage
    What's not explicitly mentioned is whether the bird sounds were recorded at the same time as the video, or whether they were dubbed in after the fact.

    If the latter, it's entirely possible that he's using a recording that was made, and consequently copyrighted by someone else.

    Movie and TV producers have been dubbing in bird sounds for decades, including one infamous time [nwsource.com] when CBS backed a golf match with the sounds of birds that have never lived anywhere near the game's location.

    Anyhow, the point is that while you can't (yet!) copyright a bird song, you can copyright a specific recording of a sound.

    (none of this should be taken to mean that Google does not have it's head up its ass.)
  • Talking (Score:4, Funny)

    by QuasiRob ( 134012 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @06:38PM (#39167055)
    I'll be scared to talk on a video now, I might find I'm copyrighted by someone else.
  • by gumpish ( 682245 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @06:38PM (#39167071) Journal

    Sue them and use crowd funding.

    https://www.crowdtilt.com/ [crowdtilt.com]

    Make it clear in your project description that you will not settle.

  • Slander of title (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gnasher719 ( 869701 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @06:48PM (#39167135)
    Assuming that your video was recorded in the wilderness, you can sue for "slander of title", like in SCO vs. Novell. All conditions are met: A false statement was made to a third party, claiming that you are not the copyright holder. The claim is malicious since they cannot reasonably believe they are the copyright holder. And finally there are special damages, since ads are added to your video and the revenue is sent to them.
  • Criminal fraud? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @07:36PM (#39167461)

    Seems to me that if they're claiming copyright on your video, and claim to have reviewed it, and they're receiving *your* ad revenue, then they're guilty of fraud.

    But I'm not a lawyer. Anyone want to pretend they are one and weigh in?

  • summary (Score:4, Informative)

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @08:02PM (#39167651) Homepage Journal

    Get a lawyer. Get him now, because there are deadlines and the law takes deadlines very seriously. Ask the EFF or ACLU, they often love cases like these, and they have a couple really good lawyers.

    Have your lawyer send them a cease & desist letter. You will need that later.

    From what you describe, you should start in small claims court, which will very likely result in a default judgement in your favour, because most companies don't bother with defending themselves. If they cease&desist, sue them for whatever ad revenue they illegally made. If they don't c&d, sue them for the lot.

    With the default judgement in hand, escalate. Sue them for copyright infringement, fraud and whatever else your lawyer comes up with.

    Don't forget that copyright infringement is a criminal offense, too. And thanks to the content mafia, the penalties are considerable.

    The one thing you shouldn't do is lie down, do nothing, or delete your video. On the contrary, why didn't you post the link? A quick /. effect later and there'd be many thousand views and the damages for your case would be there.

  • by peatbakke ( 52079 ) <peatNO@SPAMpeat.org> on Sunday February 26, 2012 @09:38PM (#39168201) Homepage

    Hey all,

    I'm Peat Bakke, the Lead Architect at Rumblefish. I write a lot of the code that manages our music catalog, as well as interfaces with our partners (like YouTube), so I'm intimately (painfully) familiar with how all of these pieces fit together, and who's responsible for what.

    First things first -- eeplox, I'm sorry this has been a shitty experience. Clearly something has been missed, and I want to make things right. Please contact me directly at peat@rumblefish.com, so we can sort out exactly what's happening with your video.

    Automated content identification is a hairy problem, doubly so when mixed with synchronization (soundtrack) licensing. YouTube's system is one of the better ones out there, and even so, we get a ton of false positives coming out of it every day. The biggest source of false claims come from covers and samples, where it's particularly difficult to determine if the soundtrack for a video is or isn't in our catalog.

    That said, we do listen to each disputed claim that reaches us, after YouTube has gone through their (rather terse) automated resolution system. We're working with YouTube and our other partners to make the process simpler and less legally threatening ... but we're the small fish at the table.

    It's worth mentioning that Rumblefish isn't a subsidiary of a major label, media conglomerate, or rights organization. This is a very small company, founded and owned by an independent musician, and half our staff play in bands or work in independent film. We've focused specifically on independent artists who want their music to be used in soundtracks ... and for what it's worth, yes, there are several tracks that sound like birds chirping. :)

    Regardless -- the media licensing industry is a horrible, horrible mess. No question about it. Our mission is to make it easier for independent artists (music and video alike) to make a living doing what they love, and it genuinely sucks to hear when people are let down.

    I'm happy to answer questions about how we do what we do. IANAL, of course ... but I am a geek. :)


    • by Legion303 ( 97901 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @09:56PM (#39168303) Homepage

      "I'm Peat Bakke, the Lead Architect at Rumblefish. [...] Automated content identification is a hairy problem [...]"

      "Rumblefish refuted my dispute, and asserted that: 'All content owners have reviewed your video and confirmed their claims to some or all of its content: Entity: rumblefish; Content Type: Musical Composition.' "

      Fuck you, Peat.

    • by gVibe ( 997166 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @10:09PM (#39168351) Homepage
      All... I wrote a pretty heated email to Rumblefish earlier, and below (with his permission) is the response I received from the CEO Paul Anthony. -- Jeff

      Hey Jeff, it's Paul Anthony, CEO and Founder of Rumblefish. I have to say, I appreciate your passion for what you believe is right and your willingness to go to bat for it.

      I just caught wind of the thread going on at Slashdot and have started replying to posts. It's very important to myself and everyone at Rumblefish that we do right by creators. If we have in fact been sent a claim from the YouTube Content ID system that has been misidentified...we'll happily release it. I'll make sure we look into it, and are doing so now.

      I'm gathering from the thread that the issue is obviously over singing birds....sounds like an outside case to me that we represent birds singing in nature....but in cases like this it could very well be A: Something completely different in the work B: A simple mistaken piece of content by the YouTube content ID system or an error on our part.

      Before you launch a full fledged, and rather passionate by the tone of your email, assault against my company...I'd appreciate the opportunity for my team to actually look into this. We're a group of people who love music, love content creators and show up at work every day to do right by our artists and labels by sending them royalties for the use of their music.


    • by EPAstor ( 933084 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @10:15PM (#39168391)

      Mr. Bakke, please explain how submitting the note "All content owners have reviewed your video and confirmed their claims to some or all of its content" is possibly acceptable when no one's reviewed it? This makes your company look awfully bad.

      Alternatively, if someone did review it and sign off on that reply, then I hope this will reflect properly on that individual and their career at Rumblefish, as I'm pretty sure that this at least makes your company rather vulnerable from a publicity point of view, if not a legal one. If you're outsourcing this... then really, I hope your company can learn its lesson QUICKLY.

      • by peatbakke ( 52079 ) <peatNO@SPAMpeat.org> on Sunday February 26, 2012 @11:14PM (#39168671) Homepage


        Many of those responses are pre-canned in the YouTube system, so unfortunately we get stuck when it comes to the responses. Even in clear cases of infringement (which this is not), terse and threatening legalese doesn't help anyone -- not us, the musicians, or the video creators.

        We're looking forward to having a direct relationship with the people who use music from our catalog. Music copyright, particularly synchronization rights, are a highly charged topic -- legally and politically. If we can make it easier and safer for people to find and use the music, everyone wins.

        We'll sort out exactly what happened, and set it right with eeplox directly.


    • by SecurityGuy ( 217807 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @10:42PM (#39168509)

      Don't lie is a good start. Not you, Peat, but whoever claimed that the content owners reviewed it and certified it belongs to them. That sure SOUNDS dishonest, here. Reminiscent of the whole mortgage robosigning business, to be honest.

      I don't have any issue at all with content owners protecting their rights. The problem is that content owners are often quite indifferent to trampling the rights of others. It's good that you're sorting this out, but really, if I get tagged inadvertently in the same way, do I have to get my story on slashdot to get it fixed? One would hope I'd just file a dispute and a real, live person would look at and see it doesn't belong to you guys. And by the way, that should be the default. Unless you're SURE, you let it go. We have stuff that sounds like birdsong isn't good enough.

    • by b4dc0d3r ( 1268512 ) on Sunday February 26, 2012 @10:56PM (#39168569)

      I, too, am a geek. But I don't speak for my company. And you might want to think twice before you speak for yours. While you are trying to do the right thing, I assure you, somewhere in your company the legal department is figuring out an appropriate response. The CEO is likewise either shitting his pants, or seeing dollar signs. Either way, its his call, not yours.

      Personal feedback might be nice for you, but either the CEO falls on his sword or the lawyers win.

      Also, your company swore that it listened to and confirmed a violation of the audio. I assume you take personal responsibility for that? That you had a hand in creating that system, know its failings, and would swear that it is imperfect?

      Or maybe you just want to improve your software. It's a nice gesture, but quite out of place. A personal reply might have been better. Going public was probably not the best way to get better.

  • Random? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by windcask ( 1795642 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:11AM (#39169037) Homepage Journal

    Sometimes I think these things are completely random. I uploaded a video of what basically amounts to Audacity-generated noise and static [youtube.com] and I got this notice:

    Your video may include content that is owned or administered by this entity:

            Entity: Music Publishing Rights Collecting Society Content Type: Musical Composition

  • by old and new again ( 985238 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @02:00AM (#39169479) Homepage
    i was having trouble with youtube flagging all my uploads of original live material as warner and other shitty faceless corporations properties every time i sent emails to the companies and youtube requesting the exact time of the video and infringing song after about 1000 emails, 1 got 1 reply, pointing me to an exact time in a video, so i listened to their track and the 22 seconds of my video my 22 seconds was a bass drum playing on every beat with a white noise filtered with a lowpass filter, no melody, no music (and there was nothing similar in the pointed song besides there was a kick on every beat) so i decided to test the content ID, i uploaded 15 minutes of ONLY a 909 bass drum playing on every beat (not even a 8th bar 4th beat 1/8th note, juste plain four on the floor it was flagged by 13 entities (my most flagged video ever) and they ALL confirmed their claim to my 909 playing alone while i was preparing supper that proves that: 1- the content ID system is crap 2- nobody ever listens to the content when you make a counter claim 3- youtube sides with the "record companies" and shit in their users face
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 27, 2012 @02:00AM (#39169485)

    Well I contacted Rumblefish about this, and this was their reply.
    On Sun, Feb 26, 2012 at 6:50 PM, xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

            How do you go about copyrighting sounds from nature?
            Do you have to pay royalty's to the original artist (the bird, or a babbling brook for instance)?
            If so how do you know you have the right one (in the case of the bird) or molecules (in the case of water)?
            If you are not paying the artist aren't you stealing from them?

    Hi Richard,

    You have a completely legitimate question here. How would we pay this bird...seeds perhaps?

    This was an obvious mistake by the YouTube content ID system. When we became aware of the problem, we acted quickly to release the claim. We have contacted the video creator to explain and to apologize for the mistaken attribution made by the YouTube content ID system. The whole situation is a little embarrassing and we certainly did not mean for it to happen. We just want to fix it, so we thank you for helping bring the problem to our attention.

    We are serious about paying artists (have been for 15 years), and about letting bird songs remain in the public domain. There are enough people robbing the natural environment; we want the birds to feel free to sing without copyright claims filling up their nests.



  • Thank you slashdot! (Score:5, Informative)

    by eeplox ( 2582263 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @06:16AM (#39170585)
    Thanks to the slashdot effect, Rumblefish has now released my video and their ads were removed! It's good to know that these intellectual property management companies are capable of doing the right thing (when a ton of public scrutiny rains down on them). I got this message in my Youtube inbox: "Hello, it's Paul Anthony...the CEO & Founder of Rumblefish. Hey there. I just personally watched the video of yours that you posted about on Slashdot where you're picking and eating a wild salad. There is clearly no music in your video and I just got off of the phone with our tech lead who I asked to release the claim that was made by the YouTube system and associated with Rumblefish. We're not sure why the song was ID'd. My apologies to you for the inconvenience that this has caused you. I'd like to help make that right for you in some way. I have been spending the last several hours responding to posts on Slashdot and emails that countless people have sent to our email addresses b/c it's important to me and the team at Rumblefish that we always do right by content creators, the ones that we represent and the ones that we do not. My apologies again and best of luck to you. If there's anything else that we can do to help make things right, please do let me know. Here's my email address: paul@rumblefish.com All the best, Paul Anthony Founder & CEO, Rumblefish Sent to: eeplox"
  • Updates (Score:5, Informative)

    by peatbakke ( 52079 ) <peatNO@SPAMpeat.org> on Monday February 27, 2012 @01:59PM (#39174761) Homepage

    Hey all,

    There's a lot of threads here and on other places, hopefully this sheds some light on the claim process, and what happened with eeplox's video.

    Here's the sequence, as best as I understand it:

    - eeplox posted a video to YouTube that contained bird sounds.
    - The automated YouTube content identification system mistakenly assigned it to one of the tracks in our catalog.
    - eeplox contested the automated claim, which sent it into the manual review queue.
    - One of our reviewers reinstated the claim, which triggered the response eeplox received and posted above.

    When we heard about the story on Slashdot, we reviewed the video and released it.

    TL;DR: We messed up during the manual review process. We've cleared eeplox's video. We're working on fixing the manual review process.

    I'm here in the discussion to answer what questions we can. We're not interested in screwing over independent musicians and video creators, and we want to be as open as possible about what's going on.

    If you run into content claim issues with our catalog on YouTube, you're welcome to contact us directly at YouTubeContentID@rumblefish.com. We have a FAQ about the process here: http://rumblefish.com/id/youtube-content-id.php [rumblefish.com]

    Paul Anthony (the CEO) has an AMA thread over at Reddit where he's answering questions. http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/q7via/im_the_ceo_of_rumblefish_i_guess_were_the_newest/ [reddit.com]


Promising costs nothing, it's the delivering that kills you.