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YouTube's "Remove a Song" - Wow!

Anyone who has been wasting time reading my drivel on this blog will know that I have been somewhat irritated by the lack of response from YouTube regarding spurious copyright claims on videos. I had given up for a while but felt that I simply couldn't let them get away with it!

Anyone else who has found their way here might be familiar with the copyright claims being slapped on their own videos, and how annoying that can be.
Copyright notices on videos

Copyright claims can have the following effects:
  1. You are unable to monetise your video, or have to share the monetisation with the claimant.
  2. You are forced to have adverts show on your videos when you don't want them.
  3. You may struggle to upgrade your channel to include certain features, such as live broadcasts.
  4. Your video(s) may be blocked altogether in certain regions.

To my delight and amazement I discovered that a fair bit of work has gone into solving the issue:

Notice showing that a piece of copyrighted music has been detected in a video

Two notices showing that two pieces of copyrighted music has been detected in a video

Could it be that easy?

After clicking the remove button

After clicking both remove buttons

Certainly looks like it!

YouTube have, rather quietly, introduced this "Remove a Song" tool to remove the music from your videos without affecting the rest of the audio.

So now we just hit "Save" and let the gremlins cast their magic.

Notice letting you know that it might take a while to remove the song from your video

And when the processing is finished...

Some noticed have been removed from the updated videos
Success! Well, almost. One video failed.

Notice telling you that there was an error when attempting to remove a song from a video

But let's not forget what has happened here: YouTube have managed to remove the music from the video without affecting the rest of the audio. It's very impressive and not something I would know how to do myself. My planned solution was to simply mute parts of the track, but now that isn't necessary. Yes, one failed, but the service is still in beta. Hopefully this will be one of the features that remains on YouTube. Some other features have quietly come and gone with time.

Of course if you want to do covers of songs then removing the music probably isn't an option. But that's up to you. In that case you may be able to share the advertising revenue, or simply be given permission from the copyright owner.

My videos no longer have copyright claims against them. Hurrah!

Update: YouTube does NOT listen to copyright claims

Previously I have written about how YouTube does listen to copyright claims and followed it up a year later with how YouTube does NOT listen to copyright claims. Confusing, I know. To make sense of it all I recommend reading those posts, if you're interested in that sort of thing.

I have had to do a lot of research on this damned problem to fight the copyright claims on my videos, which I really shouldn't have to do. They don't even receive that many hits but the lack of response pissed me off. I think I have found an answer on how these wallies came to their conclusion.

On the 12th of September, 2011, the Council of Europe adopted Directive 2011/77/EU, which in accordance with Article 4 came into force on the 20th of the same month. The Directive recommends extending protection of the rights of performers and phonogram producers on music recordings within the EU from 50 to 70 years; the exact details vary and can be gleaned from the text of the Directive, as well as some other protections and recommendations.

This is somewhat crucial to my story: my video, Sunderland Airshow 2012, was of course recorded in 2012, which was seven years after the expiration of the copyright, under the old rules, on The Dam Busters March, which appears in the video. Presumably this was overlooked by the original claimant in my story.

The general idea behind the Directive is that recording artists aren't paid for long enough for their work and they should be paid for even longer. The texts leading up to, and included in, the Directive suggest that this will help poorer performers receive adequate compensation for their work, whereas nobody really cares how hard-up the millionaires think that they are. The E.U. have, at times, been criticised for making some rather ridiculous suggestions and recommendations, some of which end up being law. I'll let you decide if this one is a sensible one or not....

....I digress.

The Directive wouldn't have affected me at all if it was not applied retroactively. From the rather in-depth Impact Assessment:
It appears that a partially retro-active extension, with a specific cut off date, would be the simplest solution as regards the legal and administrative aspects and would bring the most benefit to right holders from the start.
The Impact Assessment explains what it means by the term partially retro-active but it could be inferred that I am affected by this.

I certainly don't know enough about law to give any kind of in-depth analysis of what this all means, but I did wonder if this did not violate Article 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights (codified in U.K. law under the Human Rights Act 1998):
No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence under national or international law at the time when it was committed.
I would suggest that the E.C.H.R. only applies to government bodies, though there have been a number of high-profile cases in the U.K. in which the E.C.H.R. has been deemed to apply to businesses (mainly the press). Crucially, though, Article 7 states that it applies to criminal offences, and any legal matters arising from my circumstances would almost definitely fall under civil law. Indeed, there was no criminal act or intent (not on my behalf anyway).

So there we go. Not very technical but it almost concludes the story so I thought I should share.

Now if only there were some way to remove the musical composition from the audio track of my video....


An interesting read on a possible E.C.H.R. Article 10 violation:
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