Chirping birds run afoul of YouTube’s automated copyright infringing system
We all know that YouTube is full of some pretty awesome; and crappy, videos but one of the problems that YouTube has always had to deal with is the uploading of copyrighted material by people who don’t own the content in the video being uploaded.
For the longest time YouTube played under the radar when it came to this stuff but as they tried to continually improve their relationships with the entertainment and music industry they had to find some way to deal with this problem. While not perfect the automated copyright checking system that they finally put in place does a fairly good job in the larger scheme of things but it isn’t perfect.
I know myself that I have had videos that I have uploaded flagged even though being a ‘news’ type show whatever content flagged the video in their system was truly ‘fair use’ but every once in a while you hear about some really silly stuff that gets caught by the system.
Such is the case with YouTube user eeplox who had uploaded a video he took while out in the wilds collecting some fresh ingredient for a wild salad, and being that he was out in the wonderful of Mother Nature his video caught the sounds of some birds chirping in the background.
The next thing he knew his video had been flagged for copyright violation because YouTube detected that the video contained some sounds that belonged to the music company Rumblefish. As eeplox wrote in the YouTube help forum
I posted a video which is basically just me walking and talking, outdoors, away from any possible source of music. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPBlfeuZuWg
And apparently youtube identified my video as containing copyrighted music from a company called rumblefish. I filed a dispute, and now I’m waiting for said company to respond to it. Is this a freak occurrence? I feel pretty violated by this, a mysterious entity claiming to own my content and apparently profiting from it with ads.
There are birds singing in the background in the video, could they own the rights to birdsong?
So not only had the YouTube system decided that not only were the bird chirps copyrighted material but it would seem that it thought the sounds were a musical composition.
All is not lost though because shortly after the story hit Reddit a Rumblefish representative by the name of ‘Paul’ left a comment and said that this had nothing to do with Rumblefish but rather with YouTube’s system
We (Rumblefish) didn’t claim it as anything actually. The YouTube Content ID system, ID’d the song and associated it with one of our artists / labels. I found out about this a few hours ago, watched the video myself and there was clearly no music in it at all….only birdsong. I hit up the right person on our team to remove the claim and it was removed earlier tonight. We don’t know why YT claimed birdsong as one of our artists songs. It’s confusing.
Here’s hoping that Mother Nature doesn’t hear about this because knowing her she’d be first in line to file a copyright infringement claim.
via The Next Web