Is FUGA Aggregation committing YouTube Content ID abuse by claiming copyright for music that was provided FREE years ago?
Let’s take a look at what’s going on recently!
YouTube Content ID Abuse : What Is It?
Content ID abuse is a constant problem with YouTube, with copyright holders given almost complete control over what is “rightfully theirs”.
Copyright holders use the YouTube Content ID system to identify videos that contain material that belongs to them. They then have the right to :
- file a copyright claim, to monetise your video
- take down your video, which slaps your channel with a copyright strike
There are many problems with the Content ID system which opens it to abuse :
- copyright holders can “take over” and monetise your video even if their content is used in a small segment, or recorded incidentally (background music, for example).
- copyright holders do not need to prove that they own the copyright to the content they are disputing, which leads to false claims.
- the 3 strikes rule makes it easy for unscrupulous copyright holders to extort money from YouTube channels to withdraw a copyright strike
Even the BBC highlighted the problem in 2019, sharing how a copyright holder used the YouTube copyright strike feature to extort money, while others are using the copyright claim option to unfairly take over the monetisation of videos created by other people.
YouTube Content ID Abuse By FUGA Aggregation?
Now, we come to the recent aggressive Content ID action by FUGA Aggregation over a piece of music called Funky Dream by Fine Haters.
Since October 2018, we have been using a free piece of background music called Clean Sheets by Trout Recording, that was provided as royalty-free music by the Facebook Sound Collection.
Obviously, we never had a single copyright claim for this music.
But starting from 10 March 2021, we started receiving copyright claims by FUGA Aggregation for our videos that used Clean Sheets.
In just 8 days, they issued 14 copyright claims for videos using Clean Sheets, claiming that it was music called Funky Dream by Fine Haters.
Naturally, we disputed their claim, stating that the music was actually Clean Sheets by Trout Recording, and even shared the link to the Facebook Sound Collection where FUGA can check our claims.
So we were really surprised when FUGA “reviewed” our dispute, and rejected it, stating that their claim was “still valid”.
So we did a quick search of Funky Dream, Fine Haters and Kobb Records, and found this video posted on YouTube on 6 March 2021 – just before FUGA started shooting out those copyright claims.
The Funky Dream music was attributed to Fine Haters, and released on 20 February 2021, and was published by Kobb Records.
Amazingly, it was a longer copy of Trout Recording’s Clean Sheets, which was undated but definitely posted in 2018 or earlier. You can download Clean Sheets, and listen for yourself here.
We cannot find any information on the musician or band known as Fine Haters, or the publisher, Kobb Records.
Why We Believe This Is Content ID Abuse By FUGA
Now, both Funky Dream and Clean Sheets sound identical, so Content ID was accurate in this instance.
However, who actually owns the copyright to Funky Dream / Clean Sheets? Trout Recording or Fine Haters?
I definitely believe that Trout Recording would have a better claim, since they released Clean Sheets in 2018, if not much earlier.
But why did FUGA reject our explanation, even though we shared the evidence with them?
The YouTube copyright claim system does not require FUGA to offer us an explanation, so there’s no way to know.
At this point in time, YouTube gave us the option of appealing or replacing the song, neither of which actually works :
- appealing gives FUGA the right to issue a takedown (with a copyright strike) if they disagree
- replacing the music destroys the video, because it would overwrite the voice-over
So, like probably 99% of other content creators who get stuck like this – between the Devil and the deep blue sea – the best option is probably to :
- replace the music even though it destroys the video and voice-over, just to deny FUGA the right to unfairly monetise the video.
- edit and repost a modified video with different background music.
This is extra work that we will have to do for each and every video that uses Clean Sheets, even though it was provided as royalty-free music years ago, and there is evidence that Funky Dream is just a copy of Clean Sheets.
Ultimately, this is yet another example of how the YouTube Content ID system is being abused…
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