Back in February I wrote a post about YouTube’s Content ID coming under fire for false copyright claims.  YouTubers complained of inaccurate copyright claims on videos in which they owned the rights to all the content.  A couple of months later it looks like Content ID is still causing problems.  YouTuber Steve Miller, aka QiRanger, reached out to me via Twitter to say that, “Content ID is broken and needs a fix.”

Miller explained the issue in an email:

“As you know, the Content ID system was put in place to protect works by legitimate copyright holders.  Unfortunately that system is broken.  The way it actually appears to work is whomever uploads to the Content ID system first is trusted by YouTube to be the de facto sole copyright holder and controller of all rights, despite what the actual legal status of the work may be.

“Specifically, this is my issue.  I purchased a commercial license to use the song ‘Gazing Out’ from SmartSound.  That purchase included a legal commercial license for distribution across all media platforms, including YouTube.  IODA uploaded the song to the Content ID system and my video was flagged and stripped of monetization.  During my appeal process, I provided YouTube and IODA with my SmartSound License and confirmation from the artist himself that I have commercial rights to this song.

“IODA rejected this claim and now has monetized the video themselves, effectively taking a portion of income away.”

Miller says that he has been in contact with both the composer of “Gazing Out” and SmartSound and they have verified that the composer did not want his song to be included in YouTube’s Content ID system.  A letter from SmartSound to YouTube, shared with me by Miller, states the following:

“I have confirmed that the music in question was purchased from SmartSound Software, Inc. under the enclosed license.  SmartSound Software, Inc. is legally, by contract, given the right to sell and distribute the music in question by the composers and publishers of same…

“To be absolutely clear, SmartSound Software, Inc. has in place, current legal agreements with the composers and publishers of the music in dispute and has maintained contact with them, and asserts it rights as licensor.  I am requesting on behalf of our customer and licensee that this dispute be dropped forthwith.”

SmartSound license info can be found here.

As of the writing of this post, the issue is still not resolved.  Miller writes, “Since the evaluation of my claim was left up to the organizer not having the rights to administer the song, my appeal failed.  YouTube’s system is seriously flawed, as it doesn’t take into consideration actual licenses for commercial properties or check who is the legitimate rights holder.  YouTube also seems unwilling to participate in generating a solution, since messages dating back to last October when the problem first arose have gone unanswered.”

We will update this post with more information when available.  Have you faced similar problems with YouTube’s Content ID?  Feel free to share your story in the comments and check out the video in question below.

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.