Ever since I first published my story about the fake YouTube copyright claim I received from Believe Music I have had numerous YouTubers contact me about similar experiences both with Believe and with other content distribution services.
Many were intimidated by these corporations into ceding ownership of their content even though these claims were without merit, because they were afraid of losing their channel. I could only give my two cents’ which was that you should stand and fight if you thought these claims were illegal or false.
Well it’s been awhile since I’ve had a copyright claim against my main channel — maybe it’s just dumb luck or maybe I got on the radar of these corporations as someone who doesn’t back down.
Anyway, what has happened in the last year is that I’ve started up a new YouTube channel. This new channel is still quite small, and again, maybe it’s pure coincidence or maybe these licensing companies see that it’s new and small and therefore fair game — I don’t know — but in the few months since it’s been up, I’ve had a number of copyright claims against it, none of which are valid.
I appealed the early ones and the copyright claims were withdrawn quickly.
Then one came in from a company which lodged a claim of ownership for the content from 13:05–14:49 of one of my 40-minute videos.
This 1-minute 44-second piece of content was a contribution by my collaborator and fellow YouTuber whom I’ll refer to as “M”; it’s a segment from a video he had previously published on his own channel.
When the claim was first lodged, I double-checked with M and he confirmed he had full rights to the content.
I filed an appeal and it was rejected by the company. I also contacted their office via their website and have not heard back so far. I’ve lodged another review which is now pending.
I checked with M a second time about the company trying to claim the content and this time, he recognised the name — as it turns out, is M’s MCN — ie. one of these Multi-Channel Networks that manage your YouTube channel (I have an MCN for my main channel too, so I know what they’re about) in exchange for a percentage of ad earnings.
M reiterates that even though they manage his channel, he fully owns the content and the copyright stays with him; it’s not transferred to them.