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YouTuber Flagged For Violating Copyright On His Own Music

YouTuber Flagged For Violating Copyright On His Own Music

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(CelebrityAccess) — A Dutch YouTube musician was left scratching his head after he received a copyright strike from the video streaming giant for his own composition.

Paul Davids operates a small, but successful YouTube channel in which he posts videos of guitar techniques and tutorials, as well as his own music. The channel has garnered more than 620,000 subscribers with new content posted on a seemingly weekly basis.

Earlier this week, Davids said he was surprised to receive a copyright strike from YouTube for one of the videos on his channel and threatening him with demonetization, which is effectively a death knell for anyone trying to make a living off of the video service.

“Just like probably all the music YouTubers out there,” Davids explained in a video about the incident, “once in a while I get an email stating I’m infringing on someone’s copyrighted material.”

Davids said he looked into the source material that he’d allegedly infringed on and realized that it was music based on a backing track he’d written and posted to the channel in 2016.

Davids says he contacted the individual who’d purloined the track, who seemed not even aware that he’d lifted Davids’ intellectual property. According to Davids, the man, who was not identified, expressed surprise about the copyright strike and asked for permission to keep using the track.

“It’s not like he will make tons of money with it,” Davids said, explaining why he agreed to let the unidentified YouTuber keep the borrowed material. “It’s OK. It probably happens all the time.”

This isn’t the first case of such mischief for YouTube’s automated content flagging system. In 2010, Justin Bieber was unable to upload his own music to the service when someone beat him to the punch and uploaded a song first, leading YouTube’s content systems to block Bieber as an infringer.

In 2015, YouTube demonetized the channel of photographer and videographer Mitch Martinez after Sony issued a copyright strike claiming stock footage shot by Martinez and posted to his own channel infringed on their copyrights. Martinez says he was able to unwind the situation, but only after repeated calls and emails with Epic Records’ legal department.

The copyright strike against Davids demonstrates the pitfalls of automated copyright protection systems and the impact that such systems can have on the creative sphere. The copyright strike against Davids came just days before the EU voted to reject Article 13 of the Copyright Directive, a sweeping set of copyright reforms that would have forced companies such as YouTube, to implement an automated filtration system that would seek to block infringing material before it was ever posted.

The measure drew broad support from the industry, including high profile artists such as Paul McCartney, who described it as a “fair agreement” that “will safeguard the future of the music industry.”

However, many on the tech side, including companies such as YouTube and Mozilla expressed concerns over the implementation of the proposed filter, describing the plan as “unworkable.”

Davids video, where he talks about his experiences with YouTube’s current automated copyright system.

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