Ring bearer at the wedding

Youtube Copyright

I make an occasional video for Youtube. This page shows my latest. When making videos I am careful not to use music which will incur copyright strikes as that would be a bad thing. I use a number of music libraries for this. A monthly fee licenses all music and avoids copyright problems. All legit, all above board. As I type I have zero copyright strikes. But Youtube still dings me. And that’s a pain.

When the system detects a piece of music it recognizes, the video containing it is automatically flagged as a copyright violation and the music owner notified. I have to file a dispute and attach verification proving that I bought the rights. Moneytization and some other features are blocked until the copyright dispute is resolved.

The music owner has thirty days to release the claim or argue it. If they argue it successfully I could lose the whole channel, so it’s a big deal. This has never happened, because I am diligent to see it doesn’t. On the other side of that coin, they can sit on a claim for thirty days and do nothing. Even though I attached proof of licensing at the time. Thirty. Days. If the dispute remains uncontested after thirty days the claim is automatically released, and I’m good to go. But still. Thirty days.

So What?

What this means in practical terms is that for the first thirty days after upload I am hanging on a string waiting for the music owner to confirm what they already know: That I licensed it.

Until that hold is released, any moneytization stops. No revenue. That’s a problem. And that’s not all. Watch time minutes, a really big stat on Youtube, are not counted. A million people could watch your video, but not one minute will be counted while a copyright claim is made. That million views in that first thirty day period are lost. And that is the biggest problem for any channel.

This is something I and many others wish they would fix, because unless I use the same song every time (some do, for this very reason) I hit automatic copyright disputes every. Single. Time.

And it doesn’t stop there.

This video was taken on my iPhone while I was photographing a wedding. I took a minute to record this as they walked off into the future together. A nice bonus, I thought, on top of the photos. The DJ was playing music, it being literally what he was hired for. When I uploaded this video the system kicked in. I got a copyright claim. For the music played at an event by a licensed D.J. I did not add this music. It was part of the event. Planned. Selected by the happy couple. It meant something.

Then what?

So I dutifully filed my dispute, grumbling under my breath. And waited.

Thirty days later the claim was released. Nothing from the music owner. No fanfare. No arguments. The system just kept me on hold. For thirty days. That’s a very long time in the online world. I’ve seen divorces come through quicker. The world has moved on since then. Which means this annoying copyright system completely cock-blocked me. Again.

The system errs so far on the side of the copyright holder it is ridiculous. I do fully understand and even approve of the way author’s rights are protected. But thirty days in limbo? Really? Fix that.

Anyway. Here’s the video which triggered this little outburst. It’s nothing special. To me and to you. But to them, it was. A nice bonus on top of their wedding album. I would have liked to make a splash with this right after the wedding, capitalize on it. But with a copyright claim in progress there was little point.

Thirty days is a very long time, Youtube. Ah well. Enjoy…

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