A couple of weeks ago we started receiving emails and comments from youtubers who were uploading videos with our music in their audio track. That’s really cool right? We think so too, but what’s totally NOT cool is what happened next.
An organisation called RumbleFish claimed rights to ads placed on these videos and sent a notice to each uploader. In the notice they state that the audio track contains a piece of music they own/represent. Ok, so what is this music they represent? It’s called “What goes around comes around” by an artist called C. Nad. Hmm, so not GhostK’s “Stop (blue mix)” then?
On listening we noticed C. Nad has used the same Garage Band mandolin that we used back in 2007. He’s opened with it like we did, back in 2007. It’s very very similar to our track, up until the point where C. Nad does his thing and starts rapping, then things get VERY different….in a “not the same” kinda way.
Listen for yourself :
GhostK 2007 : Ghost K – Stop (blue mix)
C. Nad 2012 : C. Nad – What Goes Around Comes Around
So this is a simple mistake that’s easy to fix, right? Well so we thought. Only, YouTube offer ZERO means to contact them about such things. RumbleFish do provide a general contact form on their website, so we posted a polite message to them on Sunday evening Sept 8th.
Meantime back on YouTube, we noticed several videos for Stop (blue mix) showing “buy” links for iTunes/eMusic/Play for the WRONG song. These links presumably make money for this other artist if someone wishes to buy OUR song, but of course they instead get the other guy’s song…his gain, our loss. If this were happening to a big record label they’d be yelling PIRACY and drawing up charts describing potential lost sales in great detail. At the very least it’s misleading and could potentially result in someone buying the wrong song and then blaming us or the uploader for duping them.
We’re reasonable guys, we have no axe to grind with the other artist, unless he’s devilishly clever he probably has no idea this is happening (or could happen). Our beef is with YouTube for creating a “digital signature” system called Content ID, which seems about as accurate as a blindfolded bulldog on a unicycle throwing golf balls at a wasp.
Seriously, beyond the introduction, do these two songs sound the same to you? No. Yet, these two quite different songs , lyrically, vocally, stylistically are being flagged as the same song, according to YouTube’s ContentID system. The rep-agency then slap claims on videos which legitimately use our song without checking first. Any ad revenue which would normally go to the uploader is being rerouted through the rep-agency and the uploader has to fight some bullshit content claim. That’s not cool.
So in summary :
- YouTube incorrectly identified our song as belonging to someone else
- RumbleFish claimed the right to revenues from ads on videos for the wrong song by someone else
- RumbleFish placed “buy” links on these videos for the wrong song by someone else
- Our song pre-dates this wrong song by someone else
- Our song doesn’t even sound the same as this wong song by someone else
With all those smart people working at Google and YouTube, you’d imagine a massive flaw like this would be fast tracked. If their Content ID system for instance analysed the whole song, or sections of a song then it would never have made this mistake in the first place OR failing that, if these companies representing artists actually checked their not making false claims. To our surprise the Internet is full of old posts about Content ID’s inaccuracies, crossed wires and general brain freeze.
Thankfully the guys at Rumblefish, to their credit, quickly removed the claims on the videos once we reported this issue. Thanks guys. So here now ends the saga? NOPE. ContentID whack-a-mole continues, because now we have further bogus iTunes links and claims appearing on other videos.
This makes no [super] sense what so ever!
This time the claim is related to our old friend “Super Sense”, which is now being pushed by someone called Mc Deejay and also Antonino Di Leva. In the past this song has been confused with Stop because it’s similar, but it’s an instrumental and once again it’s obviously not the same song.
Andrew Mendes reported the content claim via Facebook to us, we’ve also noticed a whole bunch of videos now have links to Antonino Di Leva’s itunes, google play and emusic pages. Some of those which previously were showing with the Rumblefish artist now show this other artist who we understand is represented by an organization called Believe Digital.
Just to be clear about this, the Super Sense instrumental sounds even less like Stop than the previous claimant!
We’re actually now at a loss as to what to do about this. We’re even tempted to just have Rumblefish or AdRev or whoever claim back these videos on our behalf, but that’s not the spirit in which Stop was released. We wanted it to be freely shared, we wanted it to be uploaded and used without restrictions, but we’re really pissed with the link hijacking and the idea that uploaders are loosing their revenue to the wrong artist for the wrong song.
Why the hell doesn’t YouTube have an appeal process for artists?
What to do? Dammit!
Youtube videos previously showing C. Nad buy links
Uploaded on 14 Sep 2009
Monsterdu83 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHkUq9U_lak
Youtube videos showing Antonino Di Liva’s buy links
Uploaded on 15 Dec 2009
Allex SCV : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQyyyC2GqPA
Uploaded on 8 Jan 2010
Airfishu : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rulSFB6Xb5g
Uploaded on 13 Jan 2010
Emily García : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TepJbycIlmY
Uploaded on 23 Jun 2010
SynAdama2 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ3LjEySwdQ
Uploaded on 22 Nov 2010
Terios TheNonexistent : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkj7SxEWIRc
Uploaded on 10 May 2011
Андрей Зинов : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PnS2NZwgmU
(and then we got bored, there are many more)
Please drop us a comment here if you’ve had (or are having) issues with claims against any of our songs.