Imagine spending over 20 years studying music and beginning to compose and arrange your own music to find that other people are willing to steal and claim rights to your original work. You create a YouTube video to share with others and the hope to sell your music only to find someone else has re-uploaded it or even worse some malicous business is claiming rights to it.
It’s bad enough that many 3rd parties are willing to copyright everything in the Public Domain. It’s like how Disney will steal Public Domain works written hundreds of years ago, claim it their own and prevent others from using it.
Many as myself have experienced this problem on every video we upload. I perform one of Chopin’s Nocturnes on the piano, upload it and some random Copyright Claimant decides it belongs to them and starts earning money from my recording and performance. I dispute it and it doesn’t always pass through.
Here is a short list of malicous copyright management services that violate copyright laws and refused to release many of my original content:
- Re-one sensation
The problem with these companies is they want free money for themselves and they don’t want you the right to own your own content.
Disputing a Claim
You go ahead a dispute a claim on your original content or Public Domain performance. The claimant simply denies you own the rights and reject the dispute. You dispute again with a counter notice. They either block or delete your video or issue a court notice leaving you no choice but to delete the video.
Don’t delete your own video if they tell you to
Again it happens so you decide to contact the company in question. They tell you unfortunately it’s out of their control and they can’t release it. They also suggest that you delete the video and re-upload it, then “promise” they won’t claim it.
Stop right there!
What they have just told you is completely wrong and unnecessary. All they want is the money that was earned on your video:
1.) When you dispute a claim they are notified. These companies CAN release the copyright claim but they don’t want to so they’ll lie.
2.) Note that when you dispute, there is a 30-day expiration. After this period all money earned on that video goes back to you and the claim disappears.
If you delete the video, they keep the money earned from it, not you. Why then would they reject a dispute and even take you to court if they said they’d release it if they could?
They are also breaking the terms and polices of the law and Google. Take Google’s Content ID for example. It clearly states on their pages you can’t submit Public Domain music.
This is understandable. Content ID cannot tell the difference between one performance to another. They must be unique arrangements or include new elements.
Content ID cannot tell your recording of Chopin’s Op.9, No.2 to someone else’s if they are all played on a piano, using the same score. These companies are ignoring and getting away with this by earning money on works that don’t belong to them.
Joining a Copyrights Management Service
Okay so you decide to join one of these companies (AdRev, TuneCore, DistroKid, CD Baby etc…) so you can claim your earnings from your own original compositions and arrangements despite they still want an over priced subscription from you every year.
… And you fail to get accepted.
Unfortunately, if you aren’t extremely popular, famous or have millions of subscribers, and you are not a socially influential person, you have very little to no chance of success.
This is the same for many copyright services, unfortunately.
What Happens Next?
After failing to get accepted to receive copyright protection on your works and sound recordings, you’ve got several choices:
- Give up music
- Continue but let others steal your content and earn revenue from your original work
- Keep your work absolutely private and for strictly personal use only in hopes no one will steal it.
- Use YouTube or other social media as a Time Stamp for Copyright but risk the content been taken down due to a fake copyright claim.
- Or send a tracked letter to yourself but risk it failing in court for they claim you opened and resealed it.
The thing to worry about is when someone else steals your work and enters it in for Copyright or Content ID. When you dispute, your accounts are terminated or you are given a court notice.
A court process can be very expensive and if your like me, you probably couldn’t afford a lawyer or the court costs.
As mentioned about been very popular or socially influential. Someone of this status can easily claim your work and even win the courts because of the shear popularity they have or how they are rich enough to pay for many good lawyers. Like how Disney can and will sue you for a work originally belonging in the Public Domain written hundreds of years ago.
You are 99% likely to lose all your rights to your original content never mind Public Domain unless you can be extremely popular somehow and gain hundreds of thousands of supporters.
To Continue anyway
Probably the best thing to do is compose at least 20 or 30 different compositions then turn them into one, two or three albums which you can release all in one go with a distributor after joining a Royalties Collecting Society.