The Pupster Boys and Mrs. Pupster have been having loads of fun making videos, mostly clips from characters they create in The Sims, mixed with music in Windows Movie Maker. Since they like to post them on their personal blogs or share them with friends, I’ve been letting them use my YouTube account.
Today I received a sphincter-tightening email from YouTube titled “A YouTube partner made a copyright claim on one of your videos”
Your video is still live because UMG has authorized the use of this content on YouTube. As long as UMG has a claim on your video, they will receive public statistics about your video, such as number of views. Viewers may also see advertising on your video’s page.
After I unclenched and began to follow some of the links in the email, I found the situation to be acceptable, and if I may say so myself, handled elegantly. Copyright holders, in this case UMG, provide to YouTube ID files for the material they wish to protect, and YouTube uses a Video Identification Tool to wash all new uploads against the ID files. When they get a match, the copyright holder can choose three courses of action:
There are three usage policies — Block, Track or Monetize. If a rights owner specifies a Block policy, the video will not be viewable on YouTube. If the rights owner specifies a Track policy, the video will continue to be made available on YouTube and the rights owner will receive information about the video, such as how many views it receives. For a Monetize policy, the video will continue to be available on YouTube and ads will appear in conjunction with the video. The policies can be region-specific, so a content owner can allow a particular piece of material in one country and block the material in another.
In the case of Mrs. Pupster’s Wake Up Call The Sims video, USG has allowed the video to remain on YouTube with the addition of Google Ads (which I assume with fill their corporate coffers with untold riches), and will receive tracking and usage information.
It seems like a pretty good application of common sense, and I hope to see more of the same in the future, rather than the heavy handed tactics some other copyright holders pursue.