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Friday, May 25, 2012

Oh my gosh, I'm a copyright pirate

Ahoy there, mateys! Yer friendly neighborhood pirate here, plunderin' the seas of copyrighted classical music and gettin' notices in me YouTube account.Now, I don't do a whole lot of uploading to my YouTube channel, so maybe this kind of thing has been going on for some time and I was just unaware of it. I got an email notice this morning regarding a video I uploaded yesterday. __________________________________________

Dear SPR1N9H33L,
Your video may have content that is owned or licensed by UMG, but it’s still available on YouTube! In some cases, ads may appear next to it.
This claim is not penalizing your account status. Visit your Copyright Notice page for more details on the policy applied to your video.
- The YouTube Team


Apparently I have so sufficiently violated a copyright as to restrict my video from even being viewed in some places.

Vivaldi died two and a half centuries ago. I don't think he's in the Great Beyond, patrolling the Interwebs to find copyright infringers. I say if he has no beef with people recording his music and making their own money off it ad infinitum, those people should have no beef with me posting a three-minute clip of his music (not theirs--I don't care who perfomed it) and gaining no profit. Copyright law is stupid sometimes.

YouTube's answer to the copyright claim makes even less sense. The video has been blocked in Germany, has ads running next to it in some locations, and has been disabled from viewing with mobile devices. I wonder why Germany specifically. Vivaldi was Italian. The Venice Baroque Orchestra is obviously Italian. UMG (Universal Media Group) is owned by Vivendi, a French company... I lose the trail there.

I also wonder why, in response to a copyright claim, YouTube's answer is to place ads with the clip in question. And really, what isn't a mobile device these days? Do desktop computers even exist anymore? (I'm exaggerating, of course. I'm one of the probably 20% of people at work who actually has a desktop PC at my cubicle)

And I like this option of replacing the audio with a song from the YouTube library. You can't change the musical accompaniment to a ballet piece! Though I wonder what I'd have to choose from. It might be worth an experiment to find out. Perhaps I could try replacing Vivaldi with "Chocolate Rain."