Upon learning piano and guitar I thought it would be neat to share my progress on youtube. I went about learning how to record with some basic tools and voila….I made this whole thing happen.
One day, I head over to my channel and I see this “copyright claim” made by the rights holder to Bruce Springsteen’s “The River”. After a belly laugh…I thought – okay, I best go over to my settings and see if I have my channel in monetization mode despite not coming near qualifying for youtube revenue. Indeed, there was a check box that had been set by default to “permit monetization”. Hence; I unchecked the check box thinking that this might resolve the matter. Then I actually listened to some of the commentary over at Youtube’s “Creator Insider” channel and learned that no check box was going to effectively deal with copyright law that is in fact restricting novice musicians such as myself from putting up covers.
Fast forward a couple of months and I check my “dashboard” and learn that I’ve been bad again. This time, it’s a copyright “strike” and not a “claim”. You see…three strikes and you’re out. Your channel comes down. This time it was my piano rendition of The Eagles’ “I Can’t Tell You Why”. There was no warning. No claim. It was a simple strike and I was informed to head over to “copyright school” as a condition of having the claim potentially removed after a waiting period.
While I may be amused by all of this given my elementary participation, there are people who have taken up careers by creating youtube content and whose livelihoods depend on being treated fairly.
Two examples of youtubers operating in the space of music education are Rick Beato and Paul Davids. These folks provide valuable educational content and are subject to these claims even when using snippets of songs for educational purposes. It’s become apparent that these record companies now have the option to impose a “revenue sharing” formula with a creator if they deem that there is a violation and hence a “claim” or they can impose a “strike” like what happened to me perhaps because my “permit monetization” check box is unclicked.
As you can see there’s nuance to all this but youtube likes to keep things fairly vague in their representations through their “creator insider” channel. Their editions are short and informal with broad strokes and big smiles.