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YouTube Question Live gig and copyright

Paul Hill

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Hi everyone

With the current coronavirus situation, I thought it might be a nice idea to live stream some acoustic guitar gigs. The only problem is copyright as I am playing my arrangements of other people's material. Is there any way around this? I have pieces that I played and uploaded from a few years ago and they have copyright I.D. marked on them. I was going to upload a 'snippets' video with short examples of various songs from my acoustic repertoire a while ago, but I decided this wasn't a good idea due to copyright.

I know that everyone will say due to copyright, don't upload copyrighted material, but is there any way to get permission or mark videos as copyrighted material so that it doesn't earn revenue and not get me into trouble? I have been reading online, but any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
 

Stanley | Team TB

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Yeah Ian Corzine is my absolute go to when it comes to stuff like this. I am not 100% on this but I believe the simple break down of music copy right goes something like this:
1. Recording AND editing multiple tracks to perform someone else's song require one type of license. (I think this runs like +/- $20)
2. Using a 'covered' song as the audio for a video requires a separate license
3. Being recorded playing someone elses song live and putting that song on platform is OK as long as there are no actual uses of the original work, there are no edits to the video and the work stands on it's own and isn't reliant on the original work to be a work of it's own. I am less familiar with this third option and could be wrong, but I believe that is how it works.

Now, it needs to be said that the third option places you under the protection of the Fair Use doctrine, which is your defense in court in the event you are sued for copyright violation. Just because a work falls under Fair Use does NOT mean that the original author of the work can't claim/strike you, they can. You simply have a defense in the appeals process should it be pursued.

Ok, there's my legal breakdown for the day.
 
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Jeffrey Powers

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Sorry to rain on this parade, but the Music Policies option is going away once Classic studio does. It's possible you can still perform without strike, but there is no way to know. Further, if the artist changes anything, you could find yourself with a copyright strike.
 
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Paul Hill

Paul Hill

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Sorry to rain on this parade, but the Music Policies option is going away once Classic studio does. It's possible you can still perform without strike, but there is no way to know. Further, if the artist changes anything, you could find yourself with a copyright strike.
Ah, that was more the type of response I was expecting, although hoping for better news. :(
 

Tito Tim

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Fair Use according to law... may not be Fair Use according to YouTube.
Any video of mine that has ANY music is likely to get a claim on it. I posted one the other day and got a claim within 5 minutes. BMG would get all ad revenue for a 9 second portion, that was so quiet I did not even notice it. I deleted, edited, and reuploaded the video. I have had videos hit for bad midi. Background sound of a karaoke midi, unrecognizable tune (to me), and no one singing. Still gets claimed.

There is no easy answer to Fair Use on YT. The Creators Insider Channel (an official YT channel) has covered Fair Use, and it boiled down to, if you did not write it (music, poetry, book, script etc) do not post it.
 
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Paul Hill

Paul Hill

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Fair Use according to law... may not be Fair Use according to YouTube.
Any video of mine that has ANY music is likely to get a claim on it. I posted one the other day and got a claim within 5 minutes. BMG would get all ad revenue for a 9 second portion, that was so quiet I did not even notice it. I deleted, edited, and reuploaded the video. I have had videos hit for bad midi. Background sound of a karaoke midi, unrecognizable tune (to me), and no one singing. Still gets claimed.

There is no easy answer to Fair Use on YT. The Creators Insider Channel (an official YT channel) has covered Fair Use, and it boiled down to, if you did not write it (music, poetry, book, script etc) do not post it.
One of my aims for this year was to write more material. YouTube Fair Use will be helpful into making this happen, so there is a positive I suppose.
 
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Paul Hill

Paul Hill

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There's also this
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHh8nPj5SDY
IF you're not aware of the songs you're "allowed" to play. You're not even allowed to cover songs for instructional purposes. Especially if you're a bigger channel.
Thanks for posting the video. I think that has given a definitive answer to my question. It seems like the fair use policy isn't exactly fair in some situations. Oh well, back to writing my own material I suppose.
 
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Paul Hill

Paul Hill

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This topic is still niggling me. I recently recorded a few lockdown, solo acoustic guitar pieces and I uploaded them to Facebook rather than YouTube due to the fair use, copyright situation. I have a range of material - Pink Floyd, Bach, Taylor Swift, Stevie Wonder, Green Day.... basically a range of styles. So many other of my musician friends are quite happily uploading their own videos of cover songs or even entire gigs to YouTube and getting loads of views and new subscribers.

I would like to add my acoustic guitar videos to YouTube, but I am thinking long term and keeping my content lesson based, original material and other helpful videos, although I feel that I am missing out on promotional possibilities.

The way I see it is that all online platforms seem to be adopting similar no cover song rules, although it is very hit and miss to whether content is blocked. It is a bit like playing live with somebody turning up at random gigs and shutting them down, but not worrying about the other bands playing gigs in the area. I decided to upload covers to FaceBook because if they are taken down, it doesn't really matter. If I get YouTube strikes, my channel could be removed.

The content ID situation confuses me too. The way I see it is that copyright material is automatically flagged up and it is pot luck as to whether the video is taken down, allowed with adverts earning revenue for the copyright owner or allowed with a split of revenue between the copyright owner and the content creator.

Am I correct in how I am thinking about all this?

What do I do? Should I upload my cover material to YouTube and gamble on it being allowed but without earning revenue or possibly a split revenue?

From what I have read, I need a sync license from the copyright holder to legally upload cover songs. If so, where do I find out who owns the copyright and how do I ask for permission? I still haven't worked out how to do this, if this is the best route to take.

Apologies for resurrecting this thread with similar questions, but I am still unsure of how to plan future content and where to put it.
 

Damon

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And I don't say that lightly or flippantly. If you write your own songs, now you can record them and sell your own albums via Bandcamp. You can teach song writing via an online class and charge for that. Writing your own songs gives you so many more business options than singing someone else's songs.

That's what I'm doing.
 
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