Saturday, January 31, 2009

The curious case of the new U2 video and YouTube copyright

It's my last post on this, I promise (other than an update perhaps). I just wanted to tell those interested what happened. I'm not sure whether to be impressed or scared.

So I saw the video was posted on Facebook yesterday and blogged the link. I then searched YouTube for it, couldn't find it anywhere so I downloaded the Facebook video and uploaded that to YouTube. All good so far, I embedded it on the blog and things were fine.

I then get a note from YouTube at 19:10:

Subject: Information about your video

Dear darraghdoyle,

Your video, u2, may have content that is owned or licensed by UMG.

No action is required on your part; however, if you're interested in learning how this affects your video, please visit the Content ID Matches section of your account for more information.

- The YouTube Team
So I visited the site, spent some time reading the guidelines and decided to submit a claim to their dispute centre, filled out their form under
2. This video uses copyrighted material in a manner that does not require approval of the copyright holder. It is a fair use under copyright law.
which, given the fact that U2 don't seem to have an official YouTube channel and hadn't uploaded the video themselves, seems fair enough to me. I don't own the copyright, neither though do I profit in any way from it being on YouTube. Neither though do I dispute the fact it's not mine, so if YouTube decide it's not, then fair enough...

At 01:30 this morning I received an email from YouTube Support:
Subject: Copyright claim dispute - U2 - Get On Your Boots

Dear darraghdoyle,

In response to your dispute regarding a content identification match, UMG has reviewed your video U2 - Get On Your Boots and confirmed their claim to some or all of its audio content. As a result, your video is no longer available.

UMG claimed this content as a part of the YouTube Content Identification programme. YouTube allows partners to review YouTube videos for content to which they own the rights. Partners may use our automated video/audio matching system to identify their content or they may review videos manually.

Please take a few minutes to visit our Help Centre section on Copyright Tips, where you can learn more about copyright laws.

The YouTube Content Identification Team
A minute later at 01:31 I received this email:
Subject: Copyright claim removed on U2 - Get On Your Boots

Dear darraghdoyle,

The claim on your video, "U2 - Get On Your Boots", has been removed by UMG. Your video has been restored to its original state.

Please take a few minutes to visit our Help Centre section on Policy and Copyright Guidelines, where you can learn more about copyright laws and our Video-Identification Service.

Yours sincerely,
The YouTube Content-Identification Team
Then at 01:32 I received an email word, for word like the original:
Subject: Information about your video "U2 - Get On Your Boots"

Dear darraghdoyle,

Your video, U2 - Get On Your Boots, may have content that is owned or licensed by UMG.
The video I had uploaded and embedded on this blog had been working. Right now, just like some of the other Get On Your Boots videos uploaded in the last 24 hours, it's muted. There are many others that aren't though. I've submitted another dispute form asking for clarification, just so I know what's going on.

In the meantime I embedded the video from a No Line on the Horizon blog which is working, like the others above. I'm curious to find out why those videos are allowed but mine isn't. It's the reasons why not rather than just the "principle" of the thing. A strange situation, eh? I'll let you know...


  1. good for you! i too received a message like your first one about THIS VIDEO but but they also told me that they'd let it stay on my youtube channel and just wanted me to be aware it wasnt mine. (i think it stayed because it highlights Bono's One campaign work as well as things the fans did to help promo it)

    Its weird to think that all the various people I know who are on top of this video (and its tons!) are having the same thing happen - video's yanked, sound stripped, quality downgraded etc - Big Brother is watching!

  2. i have found it on youtube this morning and its still there and still works. i think they delayed the release due to one of the images containing a watermark for Geddy Images - if you watch it - at 1:58 and 2:04 you can see it. (in the youtube one here: havent checked your version yet). Hmm.

    he has made defamatory remarks about me on his blog

    legal procedings are forthcoming

  4. Okay - my head is all spinny now.

  5. its 2pm my time. your previously embedded video is no longer available. again -i'm off to see if mine is still there :)

  6. What seems to be even more interesting is that your video remains up without audio - yet there isn't a notification bar saying that the audio has been disabled because of copyright issues...

  7. Absolutely fascinating...

    I'm still tryin to wrap my head around it...;)

    Peace to you friend, M

  8. It has been a busy weekend for U2 fans trying to view the video. Here's another one that was up, was taken down and is now back up again - who knows for how long.

  9. Donna Big brother *is* watching - and it's not replying to queries yet either. I was most impressed though to see Mark Cunningham, the Managing Director of Universal Music Ireland leave this comment for me

    "The video is going really well but unfortunately it just wasn't finished in time for the premiere today. Alex Courtes is an amazing director and we can assure you that it will be well worth the wait. Mark Crossingham, Managing Director Universal Music Ireland"

    I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens.

    s-u-p-e-r-s-h-a-d-o-w: We're big Maxi fans around here. Were the comments really that bad?

    Lottie: You and me both!

    TheChrisD: I thought so too

    Maithri: And peace back to you. I'll update the post when I know more.

    Brendan: At this stage I'll either stick to the Facebook one or wait for the official one. It's bizarre they let it out so early in the first case!