Artist and composer Maria Schneider has criticised YouTube publicly several times in the past. For example this open letter in 2016 calling the service “a resounding disaster” for musicians; and this piece in 2017 about the net neutrality issue which included the claim that “they deny musicians like me access to their Content ID blocking program”. Three years on, that latter claim is the subject of a class action lawsuit filed against YouTube by Schneider.
The claim is that independent musicians (like Schneider) are “denied access to Content ID and thus are relegated to vastly inferior and time-consuming manual means of trying to police and manage their copyrights such as scanning the entirety of YouTube postings, searching for keywords, titles, and other potential identifiers”.
YouTube has not commented yet, although its support website says that “YouTube only grants Content ID to copyright owners who meet specific criteria. To be approved, they must own exclusive rights to a substantial body of original material that is frequently uploaded by the YouTube creator community”.
A further page on that site mentions criteria including “whether the copyright owner’s content can be claimed through Content ID and their demonstrated need”. If the class action suit gathers momentum, we may find out more about how these requirements are applied in practice.
Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash