YouTube Content ID System Encourages Fraudulent Claims

Zennie Abraham / Zennie62
Zennie Abraham / Zennie62

YouTube_51 YouTube, of which this blogger has been a YouTube Partner since 2008, and on YouTube since 2006, has a much-vaunted video “content ID” system. The trouble is, it ignores YouTube video producers fair use legal rights.

Now,for those of you who don’t know what that is, “content ID” refers to picking out music or video images that were originally made by someone else.

Say you recorded an entire Prince or Katy Perry concert segment (that would be a pair!). Unless you have either 1) permission from the maker of that content, or 2) a fair use legal right to use it, in which case you should only use part of the video and talk over the audio, the video has to be either de-monetized or removed, depending on the YouTube maker who produced the video.

You know what your fair use rights are, right? YouTube does, and has a page on what it is: http://www.youtube.com/yt/copyright/fair-use.html

In simple terms, it’s using a part of another video image or photo to tell a story – what I do is talk over a small part of the video I use, say three seconds, and refer to that image as I’m talking on the video. There’s a “four factor test” that’s used to determine if fair use applies. I use it all the time, and YouTube refers to it on its fair use page.

Here’s an example of the application of the fair use test using one of my videos:

In other words I’m reporting the news, and providing commentary – it’s mostly me talking. Well, OK, it’s all me talking! A classic example of how vlogging can give you, in effect, your own news talk show.

That seems simple, right? But the problem is YouTube’s “content ID” system is not set up to “see” fair use application of content, and allows for almost any joe-blow to set up a fraudulent claim with the objective of “making money.”

YT-makemoney Yes, with the objective of making money – it’s clearly stated (in fact, it’s the first objective listed) on the page on the YouTube site about the Content ID system: https://www.youtube.com/t/contentid
. I also show it in the photo here.

As an update, YouTube altered the design of the page so that it doesn’t say that your objective should be to make money, but the way the system behaves is still largely the same as of this writing.

YouTube Allows Fraudulent Refiling Of Content ID Claims, Over, And Over Again

As I write this, I have a video up about Kevin Ware. Most certainly you don’t know who he is. Well, Mr. Ware was injured – broke his leg – during Louisville’s 2013 NCAA Basketball Championship run and on March 31, 2013, in the Elite Eight game versus Duke.

I made a video blog commentary on the injury and Ware’s claim that God would propel the Louisville Cardinals to the top.

For some reason a firm called T3 Media Sports elected to say the content belonged to them, but when I challenged T3 Media Sports’ claim, they backed off and dropped it. SO I WIN? Right?

Well, here’s T3 Media Sports with a new claim that some music was used in the video. But if you see the video, you will know there’s just my voice, and nothing else. Here’s the video:

T3 Media Sports can’t own my voice, so the claim should never have been allowed. But T3 Media Sports is set up as a company that runs around YouTube making content ID claims to make money, and as you can see, some of those claims are fraudulent.

T3 Media Sports isn’t the only firm or individual that does this, and I’ve blogged about this before. But even with that, YouTube allows this system to remain in place, when it can be fixed.

YouTube must have a code system that recognizes voice over an image – an obvious clue that fair use of content is applied for news commentary. Then, Youtube should automatically disallow any attempt to file a claim – that protects the news content creator.

Why not? I am used to fighting, but YouTubers who are teenage content creators are intimidated by these fraud claims and don’t know what to do. They must know YouTube is fighting for them, rather than allowing predators to take advantage of them.

Stay tuned.

About the Author

Zennie Abraham
Zennie Abraham | Zennie Abraham or "Zennie62" is the founder of Zennie62Media which consists of zennie62blog.com and a multimedia blog news aggregator and video network, and 78-blog network, with social media and content development services and consulting. Zennie is a pioneer video blogger, YouTube Partner, social media practitioner, game developer, and pundit. Note: news aggregator content does not reflect the personal views of Mr. Abraham.

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