YouTube strips out audio and mutes copyrighted videos

TechCrunch is reporting that YouTube is now muting users videos that use a copyrighted audio track.

YouTube has been testing out various ways of detecting copyrighted videos, the company has been fingerprinting audio tracks and notifying users of infringement when they find a copyrighted song. It appears as though the focus has changed and instead of users being notified the music is now muted on the videos.

The reaction from the twitter universe has been mainly negative with some saying "this is not a good idea!" and "the end of amateur creativity on youtube? arghhh!!".

The notice on the videos states "This video contains an audio track that has not been authorised by all copyright holders. The audio has been disabled. More about copyright"

It's clear that this will kill user generated content where users often use an audio accompaniment to picture slideshows, like the muted video below.

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I stop by this site and track things daily, but virtually never post...... but I simply must this time.

I had a user created video for a gaming outfit I belonged to years ago. We went full tilt with it and had every single scene choreographed with in game footage to the song we picked, "This is War" by Smile Empty Soul. We completely cited them in the closing credits so they could get some traffic out of it hopefully. Fairly popular in its own right, but nothing spectacular, we just did it for ourselves and decided to share it.

I just got the e-mail telling me of the audio muting this last weekend. Gaaah!!!!! I was ****ed to say the least. I fail to see where this is a bad thing for the artist.

In actuality, this is going to cost them. In the very same day that the audio was muted, a user commented on my video saying that they stopped back by because they liked the video, so much so in fact that after seeing it went out and purchased a CD of theirs to hear more from them. After hearing of the muting and frustrated and the short sightedness of the company behind them had stated they would no longer purchase any of their music.

If this isn't a perfect example of how the internet can help promote a band and big business being to stubborn in their broken business models to see it, I don't know what is.

This sucks... when I hear a song I like and want to purchase through itunes... I go to youtube and type some of the lyrics in until I find a result.

Guess I'll have to start using those programs where you put on your phone that record the song and then it tells you what the song is

Geez. It's all free promotion. Why ruin that?

But ... we're all spoiled by free media and act like victims if someone dares to take our crack away. Record labels from I see already post their official clips on youtube. No need for 1,000 duplicates taking up bandwidth and no need for a 200lb Twlight-loving 14 year old girl lip syncing to a Miley Cirus song for 3 minutes. Youtube is doing us a favor.

It doesn't matter if it's copyrighted or not. ANYBODY can file a copyright claim and 'flag' a video. It will get taken down, no questions asked. People abuse this daily.

Oh I don't like this person. I'm gonna file this, and when 3 videos get taken down, they will be suspended.

I have had my video filed for 'copyright' and it was just a video of my yard during Hurricane Gustav. No music, nothing. This person didn't like me and filed a copyright, and down it went. I did file a counter claim and it got reinstated. That takes WEEKS. It shouldn't be this way. You shouldn't have fear when you upload a video for your friends/family to see.

Myke said,
...

However if they are claiming to use the DMCA for that, and their claim is false, it is illegal, and you can counter-claim/take legal action.

Big whoop. Who's got the resources to counter-claim because of a malicious takedown notice? And, as the screenshot shows, this is YouTube for the UK, where DMCA means bugger all. So potentially you can have a malicious takedown from US (where the content is primarily hosted) that doesn't even apply to the locale it is viewed in and you have absolutely no recourse.

This will turn YouTube into a site containing only silent videos, videos with original music composed and performed by the creator, videos using *that* sample yet again and corporate advertising of the latest crappy "artist". We have enough of the latter on MySpace without it becoming the prevalent example somewhere else.

Kirkburn said,
However if they are claiming to use the DMCA for that, and their claim is false, it is illegal, and you can counter-claim/take legal action.

Yeah I know (but who has money for a lawyer?) but it should NOT have to be that way. Counter claims takes WEEKS to process. It's pure bulls)it!

YouTube needs to do something about people abusing DMCA claims and TOS claims. Until then, to hell with YouTube.

Soldiers33 said,
soon you wont be able to listen to the radio without the music being muted.

That is a good point. How is music in a video on YouTube different then the music played over the radio. I use to volunteer DJ at the college station when I was still in school, and it was fair game to play anything that I owned over the air. The only thing I could not do is play an album from beginning to end over the air.

Copyrights... the world is changing. So you made a song good for you, if you want the world to pay for it every time the song is played, you better not release it to the populous and provide a way for private controlled screenings which you can then charge for (concerts or whatever). Once something is released to the world through airwaves or whatever other media you essentially give up that control and your right to be compensated for every single time the song is used (unless of course it's used for profit by some other entity). And you should be honored that people have chosen your song as part of their creative content as long as their are not making a monetary profit from it (although I admit profit does not always have to be monetary, so there's room for discussion).

I buy as many CD's now as I did from the mid to late 90's, before that I bought tapes, now I also use iTunes. Back then when I liked a song I recorded it from the radio to tape, now I use iTunes because it easier, or P2P for some techno / trance that iTunes just doesn't have, or a Stream Ripper for internet radio. I understand that I'm breaking some law doing this, but I feel quite morally comfortable with this, however I am always re-evaluating those morals. People will call using another person's music as steeling; that's fine they're in their right to do that and are in fact supported by laws. I see it differently; as this content was released to the world, for the world, and for my self to use and enjoy (non-profit of course).

You cannot directly compare tangible objects such as a car to intangible ideas, thoughts, drawings, music, art as we know it. Stealing a car is not the same as listening to acquired music that you did not purchase. By law I am wrong here, so be it. I listen to free music all the time when listing to the radio; some will say that content is paid for by advertising, but If don't listen to the advertising, am I stealing the music by listing to it? No that would be silly; that content is being released for everyone to enjoy and to further promote the artists ideas and thoughts and to entice me to see their live performance (I'm going to see Sevendust and Disturbed in concert next month BTW). If I buy their CD I'm paying for the cost of producing the CD materials, for distribution, and for some profit to the producing parties; because these are tangible costs and expenses. If I buy their digital CD I'm paying for the convenience of not having to waste fuel and time to go to the store to buy the physical CD.

"At the end of the day it is illegal... what needs to be changed is the law to have a acceptable usage."
Right you are sir.

At the end of the day it is illegal... what needs to be changed is the law to have a acceptable usage.

Like if there was a video of someone falling over while dancing to X song this is currently illegal, they could easily change the law to say that it was legal in things like this. Of course this opens up a whole grey area to what would be legal and what would be illegal

As long as the corporations with the fat wallets keep greasing the palms of the polititians, the law(s) will never change. Well they do, but not for the better. Remeber the fair use law? Effecively doesn't exist because of the DMCA.

I'm sort of glad for this. I mean, as geoken mentioned, there are a lot of videos being nothing but still images or slideshows with the audio track playing.

Secondly, how many times do you go to watch a video that needs no music (instructional, tricks, etc) where some band's music is thrown in for no reason? I get sick of listening to these bull**** "punk" bands simply because I wanted to see how someone did something in a game or something. Ugh...

Agreed! Hopefully this gets rid of all those stupid still-frame videos that only have music. I mean seriously, there are better/easier ways to check out a band's music. And if the intention was to DL the music somehow, well there are better ways to do that too..just saying.

Maybe resample the sound track so it is of lower quality? It isn't like anyone is profiting because of the music in their youtube video.

Hopefully this will have the positive side effect of influencing more people to come up with original music or "open source" music for their videos.

Soapbox unfortunitely does this as well. I wanted to use some Hans Zimmer (Gladiator soundtrack) in a video, but the music track was identified and marked copyrighted.

This will certainly change online video. Most videos have some type of professional soundtrack to them.

Intelman said,
Soapbox unfortunitely does this as well. I wanted to use some Hans Zimmer (Gladiator soundtrack) in a video, but the music track was identified and marked copyrighted.

This will certainly change online video. Most videos have some type of
professional soundtrack to them.


Who the hell uses Soapbox?! I don't even see a space for it in the new MSN Video beta. Maybe it's finally going away.

Wow, they couldn't even spell AUTHORIZED correctly.

I'm sure YouTube won't miss the people who are leaving because they can't watch illegally duplicated materials anymore. Boo Hoo, would you like a tissue?

The real problem I see is, what if a studio or music label, or whoever, decides that they don't care if their materials show up on YouTube? After all, YouTube isn't exactly the highest quality. I imagine this would make it very difficult for YouTube to detect an infringing video vs. a non-infringing video. Either way, the system won't be perfect. Some people are going to be quite upset if their video is muted when it contains no infringing materials.

The sad thing is artists don't understand that they are making money because they have fans supporting them. Actions like this just help creating a bigger gap between tha fans and the artist which doesn't help the sales at all.

Pirating is bad. But fans using your song to create an home made video imo is not.

Agreed on this. This will also simply reduce the music exposure to listeners, and there's nothing to win for the music industry on that. It's like taking away radio; suddenly people won't even learn about new styles of music. I know I've personally discovered new music from YouTube clips...

It's there to encourage purchasing music? But how the heck will that plan work out when you can still just as easily pirate it if you wish? Sites sharing mp3 files still exist, in heaps.

I think both the music industry and the fans will lose on this. They still have a far too simple view of the market and their own customers.

Jugalator said,
Agreed on this. This will also simply reduce the music exposure to listeners, and there's nothing to win for the music industry on that. It's like taking away radio; suddenly people won't even learn about new styles of music. I know I've personally discovered new music from YouTube clips...

It's there to encourage purchasing music? But how the heck will that plan work out when you can still just as easily pirate it if you wish? Sites sharing mp3 files still exist, in heaps.

I think both the music industry and the fans will lose on this. They still have a far too simple view of the market and their own customers.

I bought some albums after hearing them in youtube video.

Couple of years ago i was watching Halo 2 videos when i heard a song from the soundtrack of Saw. Liked it and bought the album.

It's not like the sound quality of youtube video is good anyway. It's worse than the radio.

YouTube pretty much annihilated 90% of user creativity with this move. But hey, at least deaf people won't notice the difference.

Users annihilate their own creativity by ignoring the plentiful sources of CC licensed music and independent artist, and instead using whatever happens to be on the top 40 chart as their audio backdrop.

geoken said,
Users annihilate their own creativity by ignoring the plentiful sources of CC licensed music and independent artist, and instead using whatever happens to be on the top 40 chart as their audio backdrop.

What? You do know why nobody listens to independent artists? Because they suck. If you're an artist and you dont suck, you get signed. If you dont get signed, it's because you suck at music.

"What? You do know why nobody listens to independent artists?"

Yeah, It's the same reason people get their 'news' from tabloids and their philosophical guidance from Oprah.

knarkas said,
What? You do know why nobody listens to independent artists? Because they suck. If you're an artist and you dont suck, you get signed. If you dont get signed, it's because you suck at music.

That' not always the case and your comment is very ignorant, I have heard a fair few unsigned bands that are great. Each to their own I guess.

Another relevant point, and I think you'll agree here knarkas regardless of how low you percieve the caliber of independent music to be, is that the music should only serve as an ambient background.

If the worth of your video is tied so closely to the background music doesn't that say something about your video? Even if I took the video medium that co-exists most closely with the background audio track, a music video, a really good creation can still stand alone and be set to any audio track. When I think of the best music videos in recent memory, I can easily imagine them being just as good set to a completely different song.

If I made, for example, a skateboarding video back in my teenage years and I felt the worth/quality of the video was directly related to the background music I would quickly conclude that both my video and skateboarding skills must be sub-par.

geoken said,
Another relevant point, and I think you'll agree here knarkas regardless of how low you percieve the caliber of independent music to be, is that the music should only serve as an ambient background.

If the worth of your video is tied so closely to the background music doesn't that say something about your video? Even if I took the video medium that co-exists most closely with the background audio track, a music video, a really good creation can still stand alone and be set to any audio track. When I think of the best music videos in recent memory, I can easily imagine them being just as good set to a completely different song.

If I made, for example, a skateboarding video back in my teenage years and I felt the worth/quality of the video was directly related to the background music I would quickly conclude that both my video and skateboarding skills must be sub-par.

You make a very good and valid point here.

I hope this encourages people to seek out and use music that the copyright holders are excited to freely share. Do a search on creative commons, I'm sure you'll find something you like. If you're making money off it how about a stock audio site where independent producers will sell top notch material for $5 which you can freely use in a video?

The relationship most people seem to have with the RIAA (and similar) strikes me as being somewhat masochistic. You have this huge entity which is trying to screw you at every turn (including attempts to sue your favorite video sites into oblivion) yet you side against youtube in issues like this while proclaiming the death of the site and your intentions to find a new site where you can listen to music supplied by the people who treat you like walking piggy banks. It's like they spit in your face (by proxy via actions against youtube and the like) and rather than saying "F.U., I'll get my music elsewhere" you decide to ditch youtube and trawl around for the next serving of table scraps the RIAA so graciously allows you.

geoken said,
I hope this encourages people to seek out and use music that the copyright holders are excited to freely share. Do a search on creative commons, I'm sure you'll find something you like. If you're making money off it how about a stock audio site where independent producers will sell top notch material for $5 which you can freely use in a video?

The relationship most people seem to have with the RIAA (and similar) strikes me as being somewhat masochistic. You have this huge entity which is trying to screw you at every turn (including attempts to sue your favorite video sites into oblivion) yet you side against youtube in issues like this while proclaiming the death of the site and your intentions to find a new site where you can listen to music supplied by the people who treat you like walking piggy banks. It's like they spit in your face (by proxy via actions against youtube and the like) and rather than saying "F.U., I'll get my music elsewhere" you decide to ditch youtube and trawl around for the next serving of table scraps the RIAA so graciously allows you.

Definately well said.

My tunes don't need to be blessed/sanctioned by the RIAA to be considered as "music"

Quick Reply said,

Definately well said.

My tunes don't need to be blessed/sanctioned by the RIAA to be considered as "music"

+1

This is a bad move. Instead they should find a way to use advertising revenue to compensate copyright holders. That way YouTube, content owners, video creators and end-users benefit.

They tried that. The 10's of millions that some record labels reported from said profit sharing contracts apparently weren't high enough and labels were trying to re-negotiate for an even bigger chunk.

Basically, every time a video was flagged with copyright material the uploader would be given the option to resubmit with different audio or allow ads on the page. These ads would then have a portion of their revenue given to the copyright holder. Universal reported these profits to be "in the tens of millions"

It is good move. If you want to use music then pay the musician.
Using music without permission is just STEALING.

Do you want someone use your car without your permission ??? I don't.

CiwirXP said,
Do you want someone use your car without your permission ??? I don't.

It's about context, which you seem to be blind to. Do I want someone to use my car without my permission? Not particularly (though it's just a car when all is said and done). Would I mind if someone used my car without permission for good reason? Not at all.

SniperX said,
It's about context, which you seem to be blind to. Do I want someone to use my car without my permission? Not particularly (though it's just a car when all is said and done). Would I mind if someone used my car without permission for good reason? Not at all.

Are you suggesting that youtube vids using full music tracks as a soundtrack (for no satire or video-relevant purpose) are "good reason" for ignoring royalty payments? I rather doubt that would stand up in any court.

SniperX, you may have not spent a lot of time on youtube lately but their are "videos" who's audio track is a song, in it's entirety, with the video portion being nothing more than a still image of the band or album cover which lasts for the duration of the "video". To make things even worse there are apps which can take a youtube url and download the video then strip out the audio and save it as an Mp3. This has essentially turned youtube into a file sharing service.

I don't suppose anyone here has thought of "fair use", have they? The majority of videos on youtube that have an overlaying song are all perfectly legal. They're not for profit and quite often educational, yet they'll be affected by this.

I doubt that will be affected - the music hasn't just been overlaid on the video, it was playing in whatever room your sister was in. Otherwise you'd have to mute any videos with any background music, whether an integral part of the video or not.

I can imagine it's most likely to apply to videos specifically using that music as a direct soundtrack - such as the slideshow above.

dead.cell said,
Buy the CD/song or quit watching your sister dance?

Or download the CD/song from your favorite BitTorrent site.

See, this doesn't help against piracy. That's the stupid part. The music industry is again shooting themselves in their collective feet. What this does is however making less music be heard via YouTube. They're reducing the spread and discovery of new music via YouTube. I'm not sure where they see profits in that, but the music industry move in mysterious and failing ways since a number of years ago.

dead.cell said,
Buy the CD/song or quit watching your sister dance?

errrr...how would that prevent youtube from muting the video? This has nothing to do with pirating music, this is about copyright infringement and is absolutely pathetic. I could understand it being done to those videos that share ad revenue, but for the rest, there's no reason for it and it will do more harm to the music industry than good.

That is a real shame. I've frequently added dog-training videos with an audio background. In fact, I've gone to great lengths to find the right track to suit the video. Of course, I'll live without it, and I'll find other music, but this does seem to be a real punch in the face to those users who have built YouTube into the large entity that it is today through their content.

There is an old saying that goes along the lines of 'don't kick people on your way up as you might just need them again on your way down.' I can't help but think the owners of YouTube have overlooked this. I think the sheen that made YouTube as popular as it has been in recent times is certainly starting to dull as they court the big media companies more and more prolifically.

You invalidate your own saying but putting your support behind the RIAA who's been kicking us pretty much since it's inception.

I can see where your disappointment comes from, but I don't see how you can blame youtube who has taken great strides to allow copyright music to easily be used. They even had profit sharing agreements where YouTube payed the labels when you used copyright music in your videos. These deals eventually died when the 'tens of millions' of dollars the labels where making apparently weren't enough and they wanted to re-negotiate.

geoken said,
You invalidate your own saying but putting your support behind the RIAA who's been kicking us pretty much since it's inception.

Reading this comment, and your other comment further down, I suspect you have some dislike towards the RIAA. You're perfectly entitled to that of course, but that's not really the subject of this article.

I was merely responding to the various comments painting this as a stupid decision on YouTube's part and some kind of indication that YouTube has disdain for it's users.

YouTube has done a lot to try and allow users to legally use copyright music. I don't see how they can be held responsible for this.

They will be sued into oblivion if they don't.

It'll be sad to see them loose traffic, but if that traffic was the result of people wanting to view copyright material for free then it was unsustainable to begin with.

geoken said,
They will be sued into oblivion if they don't.

It'll be sad to see them loose traffic, but if that traffic was the result of people wanting to view copyright material for free then it was unsustainable to begin with.

They've been doing fine without this - They remove videos when they receive take down notices. When was the last time YouTube actually was brought to court because of a "user" created video?

Tikitiki said,
They've been doing fine without this - They remove videos when they receive take down notices. When was the last time YouTube actually was brought to court because of a "user" created video?

It's a completely different story now. In the past YouTube basically said, "You send us the takedown notice and we take it down. The process is impossible to automate" and the courts agreed. Things are different now that they have been provided with the necessary software to automate the identification and takedown of copyright material.


The sad thing is is that this is all the DMCA's fault. User created montages such as what most people post on youtube IS allowable under copyright fair use clause as long as they aren't trying to sell it.

ozgeek said,
Good. It does not kill user-creativity. If you wanna keep music, make your own music, don't use other's work.

Yes, because everyone's a musician...

ozgeek said,
Good. It does not kill user-creativity. If you wanna keep music, make your own music, don't use other's work.

Idiot.

ozgeek said,
Alright, I can copy your website and use it as my own, see how that make you feel.

What a terrible analogy. Credit is given to the author of the music. And by the very nature of the internet, the artists work stays intact (as apposed to the printing press days). Just look at the Open Source software market, where stuff is traded with Open Copyright, there is virtually no plagerism.

The people who post the videos are not claiming the song as their own. They are just putting up for other people to enjoy while giving credit to the original author.

ozgeek said,
Good. It does not kill user-creativity. If you wanna keep music, make your own music, don't use other's work.

And I'm sure everyone in the world can sing wonderfully, play multiple musical instruments, and has the appropriate equipment to create studio quality recordings.

You're a moron.