Monday, March 03, 2014

False Claims

The eagle-eyed amongst you might have noticed that February's 'Monthly Movie' switched over the weekend from being hosted on YouTube to instead being hosted on Vimeo.  I was left with no choice but to take this action in the face of the fraudulent copyright claims which are currently making it next to impossible to upload a video to You Tube with any kind of music track on it.  The music I used on last month's film was a piece composed and recorded by Frank Nora (of Overnightscape fame) and released by him into the public domain.  It is distributed, freely, by, amongst others, Kevin McLeod on his FreePD music site.  Both its composer and distributor are clear that it is free for anyone to use.  Yet, as soon as the film was posted on You Tube I had an outfit known as 'The Orchard' claiming that it was actually a piece of copyrighted music called 'Told' by one of their artists, named Micheal White, (note the spelling of the first name - it will become significant later in the story)!

Obviously, I'm disputing this claim and, in due course, I'll let Frank know that someone is apparently claiming credit for his music.  The aim of organisations like 'The Orchard', (which is notorious for making this type of spurious claim), is to exploit your video by being allowed to place ads on it in order to collect the 'royalties' due to their alleged artists.  You will also be prevented by You Tube from placing ads on your own video in order to monetise it.  Now, I don't bother trying to monetise my videos, (they are home movies and don't get enough hits to make it worthwhile), so the latter part of this sanction doesn't bother me.  However, I object in principle to having some third party making money from my work, particularly when this is the result of them falsifying a claim.  Ultimately, the only way to prevent this, if disputing their false claim doesn't work, (which it usually doesn't, as You Tube seems to be in cahoots with these parasites), is to delete the video from You Tube and instead post it on a video sharing site that doesn't seem to be in bed with these leeches.  Hence the move to Vimeo.

But getting back to The Orchard and their alleged artist, I decided to try and check this individual out and try to listen to the song they are claiming is identical to Frank's.  The problem was that, according to every search engine I tried, it seemed that there was no trace of 'Micheal White'.  There is a Michael White, a jazz musician with several albums to his credit - I listened to some of his sample tracks which are available for listening.  Guess what?  None of his music sounds remotely like the public domain track I used.  Also, this Michael White seems to have no connection with The Orchard.  however, when I checked out the directory of artists on their site I found 'Micheal White' (note the spelling again) listed there, with a single album.  An album which, according to their site, hasn't even been released yet.  Moreover, you can't listen to samples of any of the tracks, making comparisons with the disputed music impossible.  Most intriguingly, the record label they claim it is released on doesn't seem to exist. At least, it doesn't have any web presence which, in this day and age, is pretty much unthinkable.  So, what can we conclude from this?  That The Orchard is trying to claim royalties on public domain music by inventing artists and trying to assign ownership of said music to them, pocketing any money collected themselves?  Isn't that fraud?  If so, why are Google (You Tube's owners), one of the world's largest and wealthiest corporations, apparently colluding with shysters like Orchard to commit fraud?  (That's right, The Orchard, I'm calling you shysters!  What are you going to do about it, eh?)  

Anyway, the long and the short of all this is that, for the foreseeable future, I'll be using Vimeo to host my films.  Which is a bit of a bugger, because it takes even longer to upload there than it does at You Tube.  But at least it isn't blighted by these fraudulent claims.



Blogger Patricia said...

You aren't the only one Sleaze, check this out,
Youtube is going to be a thing of the past as Vimeo and Putlocker, become more popular.

10:25 pm  
Blogger Doc Sleaze said...

You Tube really aren't doing themselves any favours by not getting to grips with this issue. Incredibly, I've even heard of cases where the likes of The Orchard have tried to claim copyright on the works of Mozart! I've also come across several cases where these organisations have tried to claim copyright on original compositions used by people on their own videos! I'm all in favour of artists being given due recompense and credit for their work, but this is ridiculous! Long live Vimeo!

12:05 am  

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