Music industry's copyright witch hunt

Putting any copyrighted material, even if just in small segments, on Youtube would almost always get your videos flagged.

However, content creators talking about TV shows or movies usually can avoid getting flagged by using segments in the trailer, or just show still images and go on discussing the plot without a copyright infringement. There are many many popular youtubers who does just that, and they basically end up promote TV shows and movies.

You cannot do the same with music. Playing any copyrighted music for more than a couple seconds would get your videos flagged and your revenue stripped away. There’s no way to play a trailer of a song, and it’s very difficult to describe music like you could with movies.

Even with the “reaction videos”, most of the time you would see youtubers reacting to Asian music because I guess music companies in Asia are less strict about these rules.

The rules are so ridiculous that a Taiwanese youtuber, Wiwi Kuan, known for talking about music theories saw videos of his grad school piano recitals flagged as copyright infringements. Even though the video clearly shows it’s him playing a piece of Prokofiev, which was published more than 50 years ago, Sony still claimed that the video used Glen Gould’s version, and rejected Wiwi’s dispute. If Wiwi would dispute again, and Sony still rejected the dispute, youtube would delete Wiwi’s channel.

There’s absolutely no way to appeal and have someone from Sony or Google, other than algorithms, to actually look at the obvious evidence.

Back in the day, new music is pushed to the masses with radio and TV shows. In an age where most people simply selects what contents they want to watch online, these witch hunts forced youtubers to stay away from discussing any music, let alone new songs. I get the feeling that music is becoming less relevant in the public discussion.

So… did the music industry shoot themselves in the foot?


At least YT let’s me use other people’s music in my videos. Even though as you say you lose any chance at monetizing the video. If I post a video direct to FB they mute the audio. I’m going to have to get busy and write some music on GarageBand to use in videos in the future.

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I know, I have sang a number of songs I love that I could never make money for. My videos of me singing these songs have been flagged, but when I sing my own songs I wrote, that never happens.