I’m super unhappy right now.
So I just recently got a nice reminder of one of the many reasons I stopped doing YouTube earlier this year, and that would be Copyright Trolls. While I didn’t get hit by this very often, because I rarely include any sort of music in my videos (I only do video game footage, and I turn the in-game music off 99% of the time), on occasion I’d get some notice of a copyright claim on one of my videos.
Of course these were, according to YouTube, nothing to worry about. I didn’t actually get a copyright strike, they weren’t even restricting my video or taking it down. They were simply claiming the ad revenue from my video, should any come in, and of course since YouTube made it impossible for a channel like mine to get monetized… No problem, right?
No, there’s a serious problem here.
Like I said before, I only put up videos of my gaming footage on YouTube, and I generally turn off in-game music in those games. But on some rare occasions, a bit of in-game music gets through, and ends up in my video. This isn’t a problem, though, since I have the permission of the game company behind that game to use it in my videos, and as the music is part of their copyrighted work, I have permission to use that, as well. In theory, I could have all of the in-game music turned on, and still be safe, because I have permission to use it, like I said before.
The reason I don’t do that, and why I avoid putting music of any sort in my videos or Livestreams, is because of these Copyright Trolls. They go around claiming videos they have no legal right to claim, in the hope that the video owner won’t dispute it, and they might be able to glean a bit of coin off of it for free.
Bullshit. I will not let such Fuckery stand!
Recently, I had not one but two different videos claimed by the same person, for the exact same reason, alleging I had used the same song “of theirs” in said video on YouTube. The problem with this, of course, was that these videos were of me playing “Lord of the Rings Online”, and only included brief bits of music Standing Stone Games included in their game. This music belongs to SSG, and is their copyrighted work. I have their permission to make videos/livestreams with their game, including any music they include therein. There is but one caveat to this, being Player Music (other players can ‘perform’ MIDI-versions of outside music in-game), but I have the volume for that turned off, so that isn’t even an issue.
Basically, this is just some Troll looking to see if they can make a quick buck. I have disputed both claims, and if they want them to stand, they can tell YouTube they intend to sue me. I have already pointed out I have legal permission to use any in-game music in LOTRO, and that should be the end of it. They should also note that my videos don’t get monetized, so they gain nothing with this claim, but I’d love to see them try to sue me over it! I’d get released from the suit in a heartbeat, and they’d find themselves either without a defendant or suing SSG in my place, and that’s the last thing these Trolls want, is a defendant that can afford to fight back.
Of course, this is always a risk, even if you don’t have any music in your videos at all. I had someone try to claim another LOTRO video of mine, because they said it included part of their copyrighted work that was basically various nature sounds. The portion they claimed – in good faith, I believe, because they included the exact time in my video where the “infringement” occurred – just happened to include me riding my pony around in Rohan.
Yes, they tried to claim my video because it included in-game sound of hooves galloping across a field.
But at least they did that in good faith, and reversed their action once I explained their error. These other Copyright Trolls, like the one who made these two most recent claims, are not acting ‘in good faith’, in my opinion. They just want a quick buck.
Now then, why do I continue to use YouTube, if the service continues to aid and abet Trolls like these? Well, I need a place to store my rather massive livestream replays from Twitch, which only stores said video for 60 days. I use these replays as content on my website, so having the videos disappear after a couple of months wouldn’t be too useful to me, thus why I store them on YT.
Plus, storing and hosting all of this footage costs YouTube money, and I’m fine with that, since they fucked small content creators like myself earlier this year, when it came to monetization. They may not be paying me for my content, but they sure as hell aren’t making any money off of it. In fact, it is costing them quite a bit, moreso every single week, in fact.
But that’s a tale for another time. The point here is, I am sick to death of these Copyright Trolls, even if they won’t ever make a dime off of my content. It is the principle of the thing now, and for that reason alone, I shall not just roll over and let them claim my work as their own.