Using Sound Clips for Reviews

mosaicclassics

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I'd like to start a channel that reviews recordings of jazz music. It seems appropriate to play some brief excerpts (20-seconds or so) from certain tracks, but I realize it would probably lead to copyright claims, thus taking away monetization opportunities. Any suggestions for a legitimate work-around? Or some other way to liven up the videos without using the actual music samples? I intend on keeping each video under ten minutes.
 

Crown

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Moved to the copyright / claims / strikes / legal forum. :)
 
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Acerthorn

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Ok, the first thing you need to learn is the difference between copyright claims and copyright strikes.

A copyright claim is usually placed automatically, by an algorithm that scans youtube for matching content. It isn't manually operated, and therefore, can't take fair use into consideration because it's only computer software, so it can't understand context.

Copyright strikes only come when a copyright holder files a DMCA takedown notice. That is not an automated process. That's a conscious choice by the copyright holder and/or his agent, and they are required under the law to consider fair use before issuing one of these things, otherwise YOU can sue THEM for damages, rather than vice versa, so it's not likely to happen if your videos are clearly fair use.

If you get a copyright claim, you can dispute the claim, stating that your video is a review and therefore is fair use. In my experience (although your mileage may vary), copyright holders are usually pretty good sports about releasing copyright claims when you show them that it's a review and therefore fair use.

If, however, they uphold the copyright claim, you have the option to appeal the decision. This isn't like appealing a court judgment. When you appeal a copyright claim, you automatically win. The only options the copyright holder has at that point are to either issue a DMCA takedown notice (resulting in the aforementioned copyright strike) or sue you for copyright infringement. In 999,999 cases out of a million, they'll opt for the former, as it's quicker and cheaper.

However, all is not lost. If you get a DMCA takedown notice, you can just as easily fire back with a DMCA counter notice. Again, nothing is "decided" at this stage. If you file that DMCA notice, they only have one option left: Take you to court. More importantly, they have to file the lawsuit against you within 14 days of you filing the counter notice, otherwise your video is automatically reinstated and your copyright strike is automatically removed.

So as you can see, youtube's copyright system is kind of like the dare system in the old children's game show "Double Dare." Literally either side can fire back at the other for any reason they want ... until it gets to the point where the copyright holder has to either file a lawsuit or back the hell off. That's the only stage where you can't just tell them to p**s off, but it's also the most expensive and time-consuming stage of them all.

However, remember that the lawsuit is the most expensive and time consuming stage of them all ... for you as well as them! Don't keep pushing back at a clear case of copyright infringement if you're not willing to fight to the bitter end. Seek legal advice before you push the matter too far.

Then again, if all your videos follow more-less the same format, you could get legal advise on whether that format adheres to fair use and just use that format in every video.
 

mosaicclassics

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If you get a copyright claim, you can dispute the claim, stating that your video is a review and therefore is fair use. In my experience (although your mileage may vary), copyright holders are usually pretty good sports about releasing copyright claims when you show them that it's a review and therefore fair use.
First, thank you for the very detailed and informative answer. I do understand everything you've said here. Since copyright claims are the result of YouTube's AI scan, I'm wondering much of my time I'd be spending on disputes, given that this would be a consistent format with short samples of the music. If that's just the nature of the business, then I'll prepare myself to deal with it.
 

Acerthorn

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First, thank you for the very detailed and informative answer. I do understand everything you've said here. Since copyright claims are the result of YouTube's AI scan, I'm wondering much of my time I'd be spending on disputes, given that this would be a consistent format with short samples of the music. If that's just the nature of the business, then I'll prepare myself to deal with it.
Disputing copyright claims usually only takes a few minutes each. You only need to give a brief description of why you believe it is fair use.
 

Paola Varela

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Ok, the first thing you need to learn is the difference between copyright claims and copyright strikes.

A copyright claim is usually placed automatically, by an algorithm that scans youtube for matching content. It isn't manually operated, and therefore, can't take fair use into consideration because it's only computer software, so it can't understand context.

Copyright strikes only come when a copyright holder files a DMCA takedown notice. That is not an automated process. That's a conscious choice by the copyright holder and/or his agent, and they are required under the law to consider fair use before issuing one of these things, otherwise YOU can sue THEM for damages, rather than vice versa, so it's not likely to happen if your videos are clearly fair use.

If you get a copyright claim, you can dispute the claim, stating that your video is a review and therefore is fair use. In my experience (although your mileage may vary), copyright holders are usually pretty good sports about releasing copyright claims when you show them that it's a review and therefore fair use.

If, however, they uphold the copyright claim, you have the option to appeal the decision. This isn't like appealing a court judgment. When you appeal a copyright claim, you automatically win. The only options the copyright holder has at that point are to either issue a DMCA takedown notice (resulting in the aforementioned copyright strike) or sue you for copyright infringement. In 999,999 cases out of a million, they'll opt for the former, as it's quicker and cheaper.

However, all is not lost. If you get a DMCA takedown notice, you can just as easily fire back with a DMCA counter notice. Again, nothing is "decided" at this stage. If you file that DMCA notice, they only have one option left: Take you to court. More importantly, they have to file the lawsuit against you within 14 days of you filing the counter notice, otherwise your video is automatically reinstated and your copyright strike is automatically removed.

So as you can see, youtube's copyright system is kind of like the dare system in the old children's game show "Double Dare." Literally either side can fire back at the other for any reason they want ... until it gets to the point where the copyright holder has to either file a lawsuit or back the hell off. That's the only stage where you can't just tell them to p**s off, but it's also the most expensive and time-consuming stage of them all.

However, remember that the lawsuit is the most expensive and time consuming stage of them all ... for you as well as them! Don't keep pushing back at a clear case of copyright infringement if you're not willing to fight to the bitter end. Seek legal advice before you push the matter too far.

Then again, if all your videos follow more-less the same format, you could get legal advise on whether that format adheres to fair use and just use that format in every video.
Thanks for this reply! I'm actually about to start cover songs on my channel and get the feeling that this is something I'll have to deal with on the regular.
Very informative and well written response!
 
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