Why the Change? : Plagiarism & The Path to Content ID

2015 started with a bit of a wake up call for the many YouTube channel owners who used my “Rallying the Defense” on their videos as they started receiving copyright claims from Horus Music Limited.

copyright_claim
According to Horus Music, who added the track to YouTube’s Content ID system, Davide Anselmi and Hans Zimmer composed the music and it was now called “Overture”.

This obviously made some people a bit nervous, with good reason. They had looked for music that was safe, found us, and now their channel risked a copyright strike? I of course did my best to assure people nothing was really going to come of it, and that I was working on the issue. This happened before with my track “Sunlight” and thankfully that was fairly easy to deal with because CDBaby, the distributer, took action quickly.

Horus Music didn’t quite operate as professionally as CDBaby. In fact, Horus Music refuses to look at any evidence in digital form, which is quite puzzling in the year 2015. Apart from finding that annoying, I probably wouldn’t think much of it if it wasn’t for Horus Music distributing my track as if composed by “Hans Zimmer” in the first place.

The Cleanup

Fortunately, YouTube, iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and others where the music was distributed to are much better at handling infringement complaints, so I went to them instead of having to deal with Horus Music’s odd decline of anything digital. Some providers were quick to respond, others a tad slower. Part of cleaning up the mess Horus Music and Davide Anselmi made of course also included reaching out to the affected parties, doing social media posts as well as sending out emails. I even ended up on hans-zimmer.com explaining the situation to people not quite understanding this new release from “Hans Zimmer”.

In the midst of sending DMCA takedowns left and right, I accidentally took down our own upload of Rallying the Defense. This happened because I wrote an e-mail to copyright@youtube.com, and perhaps naively, hoping a human would be at the receiving end, I started to explain the situation and asked for the Content ID “fingerprint” to be removed. I guess they’re either way too quick, or the algorithm looking over the e-mails was not made to account for my query.

iTunes search showing “Davide Anselmi & Hans Zimmer”

itunes_davide_horus

Why is all this relevant?

It’s relevant because I want you to know how much of a shitstorm it can cause for everyone when some distributor knowingly or not distributes our music like Horus Music did, and that it is what made us decide to start utilizing the Content ID system on YouTube ourselves. Adding our music to that system will create a much greater protection against any future attempts by 3rd parties wanting to add it to the Content ID system, for whatever reason.

Unfortunately it may be a bit of a nuisance to some of you as we start adding tracks to the Content ID, because it means people who used that music will get temporarily flagged. The good news is that we’re now the ones in control, and we can very swiftly remove that automated flagging.

Is it ideal? No it’s certainly not, but it’s the better solution. We are much more inclined to make sure our users and fans have as few problems as possible utilizing our music, than some random distributor who would be making money off of the claims while we all sit around waiting for the draconian YouTube system to release the false claims.

iTunes Revenue for Horus Music Ltd. selling “Rallying the Defense”.

horus_itunes_royalties

So what happens now?

The following striked out text is no longer current.
I’m glad you asked. First we want to give everyone a chance to add their YouTube channels and videos to our whitelist. After a 1 month grace period of collecting channels, we will start to add our music to the Content ID system. Since we’re not able to gain access to the Content ID system ourselves, we will be going through the third party provider AdRev. Additionally, we will of course be here to help and answer any and all questions you may have regarding this decision or the consequences of it.

Where to access the whitelist: When logged in to your account, go to “My Account” and at the bottom of the page you will find the “Content ID Whitelisting” link.

Please Note: We will not be adding our old Legacy Tracks to Content ID, and white listing your videos and channels when using our free to use Legacy Tracks is not necessary. If you bought premium music in the past and have issues logging into your old account (i.e. it doesn’t exist), let me know on support@machinimasound.com or through our Contact page and I will get you back up to speed.


  • Eimantas Kocanas Wrote:

    It is a good decision to act and control it by yourself. I also many times got flagged by a company, which was neither the holder of the music licensing rights nor its distributor. Still sometimes companies who license the music tend to act in a crazy way. CDbaby as you said are more professional. They tend to respond fast and the the things sorted out in a couple of hours.

    It is good that I track your production, otherwise would have missed this. Had to re-buy a song, which I got a while back – just didn’t remember the where I put the receipt.

    Anyway, you provide very high quality content for YouTube creators and this step of managing Copyright ID is the next step in growth and protection of your company.

  • Bongo Raggles Wrote:

    You should blog more often, it would be good to hear of Machinamasounds progress and a good way of informing us of new tracks being released, thanks
    Bongo
    thePoultryPeople

  • Andrea Wrote:

    Hi there! We used your awesome piece Rallying the Defense on our trailer and as we wanted to upload it to Facebook, we received exactly this copyright claim. What can we do?

  • Per Kiilstofte Wrote:

    Hey Andrea,

    Could you contact me via our contact form? Rallying the Defense is not supposed to trigger any claims on Facebook, or YouTube. I suspect someone else is trying to make money off of my work on Facebook. Of course considering it’s Facebook, that’s not really a surprise if this turns out to be the case. But again, please contact me via our contact form here on the website, and provide as much information as possible including who is claiming it, i.e. distribution company or artist.

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