Videos and Music False Copyright Restricted on YouTube

 YouTube allows foreign entities and abusive corporations to exert copyright claims that are not allowed on films, music and videos within the United States of America under various Public Domain and Copyright laws. 

In 2022, YouTube's copyright "strike" claims system is abusive and prevents legitimate claim holders from obtaining the claimants contact details. 

One such US movie is the horribly wonderful (US P.D. Q328442)  1964 Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. Made in America and in the public domain for many years.


US Public Domain laws, allow a Citizen of the United States to reuse media such as a film as is, to re-produce the film, publish the film on US streaming video platforms, make modifications, create new creative derivatives, or even sell it on DVD, Bluray, commercially.

A company in France however called Studiocanal and other entity W4ch TV, ( mentioned having trouble with W4CH on YouTube all the way back as early as 2016. LINK TO ARCHIVED ARTICLEhas sieged on the international copyright by claiming it as it's own, blocking it completely world wide from being able to be presented even within the USA where it is under the US Public Domain, or in a situation similar to this, when a Public Domain has an exclusion claim, it's still usable under Fair Use law, according to Public Domain law.  US Public Domain laws have changed since 1964, but new laws written since create an Exclusion in some situations.

Following the day this article appeared online, W4CH released their YouTube copyright claim against SellerThink's counter claim of public domain use. Taking The time to know the laws can help in fighting illegal frilous claims, but truth is, it shouldn't have been necessary in the first place if YouTube were doing what the original lawsuit intended.

A public domain creation can be used by anyone within the legal authority representing the creation, allowing modifications, derivatives and reuse commercially.  In the US, any movie between a certain range of years, in which the original creator did not copyright the material or renew the copyright when it expired, it fell into the public domain.  That means it belongs to the public.

Fortunately, my hours or work modifying this original US Public Domain movie i call, "Mars Needs A Santa" is not dependent on YouTube. In fact in 2021, when the Utreon video platform contacted me about moving to their video platform, I jumped at the chance.

Why? Because YouTube favors digital media management companies, and these groups place restrictions, even blocking a creator's intellectual property outside of the scope of their legal jurisdiction.   As a musician it is even worse, since these media management groups do not authenticate the ownership or copyright information of others using specific pieces of music by those they manage, This results in an exclusive license being created for their client on YouTube, resulting in limited monetization or complete exclusion on YouTube by a legitimate Intellectual property copyright mutual license holder.   

In other words, If you have a royalty free license that you acquired that gives you full legal reuse rights globally of a particular sound or music loop, then that loop can be used in your intellectual original property, and anyone else who has a license to use that loop or sound, can use it in their original creative works too.  However, these digital management corporations will place copyright claims against everyone else whose owns the right to reuse it via a license, in their music.

As a musician and film maker, I've had to deal with a headache amount of these bogus claims, none of them ever succeeding in dispute. I learned about my legal rights during film school, because I had to know how to protect my own rights and license out my video footage, Foley and music to others. 

Are focused on YouTube monetized channels, leaving non-monetized channels vulnerable to preditory claims.

The questionable legality of YouTube's systems is that depends on the illegally claiming party to settle and end the dispute, and if the party accused of stealing music or copyright doesn't submit, YouTube files a "Copyright Strike" against their YouTube account.  In terms of being a YouTube creator, it is a big a threat as a "Third Strike" criminal getting a strike against them in California.  It doesn't go away, and after three strikes, YouTube bans you and any associated accounts from YouTube.  That is extremely aggressive, especially since YouTube claims, it's no involved in the dispute of a copyright claim, yet they empower and uphold the false claim.  It reminds me of selling on eBay, when eBay say's "We protect the buyer", and then they give a full refund and the product sold to the person who bought it.  They make the call, they force the refund, but they claim they are in no way accountable. 

Additionally, if a management corporation releases its claim off of my specific composition (intellectual property), it does not entirely release that claim it made against me, from anyone else on YouTube it made an identical claim against.  ,This means that every time a media management corporation files a copyright claim automatically on YouTube, everyone has to refute the dispute all over again. 

Why?  Because they make lots of money on everyone's video who doesn't dispute the claim.  

In the case of the dispute in this article against Hexacorp, I own the license for a loop that Hexacorp does not legally have the right or obtained the license rights to manage, yet they place a claim against my original composition that uses the loop, which is being used with my permission on another channel.  In this case, part of the claim by YouTube, is that not only is Hexacrop able to make the bogus claim, but because that particular YouTube channel is not a "Monetized YouTube Partner", its ineligible for monetization on their channel.  

That is fine for YouTube who will run advertisements on that video on the non-partner channel, but that music belongs to me and I am a monetized YouTube Partner.  So YouTube's logic is monetization of that video belongs to Hexacorp or YouTube.  No, if any money is to be made from it, it belongs to me.

The license for the loop states very clearly how the loop can be used, who can use the loop, and the limitations for use of the loop.  One of the restrictions of the loop is that no-one can place an exclusive claim against usage of the loop within an intellectual property, or in other words, your copyrighted composition which uses the loop can not impeded or override my commercial use of the loop in my composition.

The other major problem with YouTube's copyright claim system is that though a claim has been made against my music video; YouTube has only provided me with a name of the EDM and the supposed Copyright Holder.  Neither of these have a presence that I was able to find on YouTube, nor off YouTube, in fact, I fact I wasn't even able to find Hexacorp within YouTube's very well hidden list of digital management entities.   

After a week of research and reaching out to several different entities on social media that seem to be possibly connected to Hexacorp LTD. none have responded.  Nor is there any database of music that can be searched for more details about the copyright claim music that apparently my video shares a loop with.  I am still doing research.

This is lunacy!  

I am only assuming that it is one of the licensed loops, because YouTube and the information provided does not give any useful information or details related to the non-traceable music.  I as a copyright holder, not only need to be able to defend my copyright against claims made on YouTube, but I need the ability to research the actual music it claims I am violating, to ensure that my intellectual composition property (aka original music) is not being used by this person or entity making the claim.  

For all I know, it may be my actual composition that they incorporated into their music, which means this is not a license issue, but that I have a legitimate claim against their music and can require it to be removed.  But YouTube, at least in this particular case has provided only Hexacorp any rights or information, where as I had to provide licensing text based on my assumption it is a loop being claimed, and other information regarding my composition.  How it that fair, but how is that even legal?

If YouTube is allowing the copyright "strike" claim to be made, without providing me as a copyright holder any method of verifying the claim, contact information for the Hexacrop LTD that is making the claim and attempting to monetize my music video, then YouTube has failed in its compliance of the lawsuit against YouTube, that led it to create this method of artificial copyright claims.   At the very minimum, the copyright owner must provide contact information, which YouTube has not provided me via this system.  

While attempting to research and find any contact information about Hexacorp, I came across a musician on Twitter who claimed in a old post, that Hexacorp LTD making the claim against my music, has actually been dissolved. That would make sense tonight, since I was able to finally find a directory by YouTube of all the corporations it allows to make claims. Hexacorp does not appear in the directory in 2021.  If that is true, why hasn't YouTube purged Hexacorp from its program?  Where is the money being made off of those limited monetization claims go, if not to Hexacorp?  It's time for YouTube to clean up its act.  

Copyright and Public Domain violating entities like Studiocanal and Hexacorp LTD. leverage the perception of fear against individuals.

YouTube lets its little channels and non-monetized channels get hit the most with copyright claims!

Above is the copyright claim Hexacrop filed against my non-monetized channel, non-partner channel under an unrelated account name.

Below is the same video, uploaded on my main channel that is monetized, part of the YouTube Partnership, has almost 3 million views, and almost 7 thousands subscribers.  Notice the yellow highlighted area?  Yep, No claim, No Restrictions.  Exact same video.  If the supposed song were actually able to be located on YouTube, and if Hexacorp LTD actually existed on YouTube, I would consider filing a claim against them as well, not because I make a habit of doing that, but because I'd like to see at least that particular piece of music that they claim my smaller channel infringed, removed from YouTube and Hexacorp prevented from claiming it against others.  My making such a claim against them would be no different than their making a claim against my music, the music license states clearly that anyone who holds a license is restricted from placing an exclusive copyright claim against others using the same loop. In the case of Hexacorp, I have a legal license, and they do not, they state that they do, based entirely on it being a requirement for participation as a member of their media rights company. It doesn't have to be true, if it were true, then they would be smart enough not to allow !YO and others to be members.

The idea that to protect a single musical composition that only 100 people listened to requires me to file a lawsuit is simply not financially reasonable considering Copyright lawsuits have to be conducted in federal court. That means time, money, hiring a copyright claims attorney, involving the loop copyright holder that gave me the license, etc. Each copyright claim is only yields a limited amount of possible money that can be awarded.  A music composition on YouTube that only made 95 cents in a year, is not going to provide very much in monetary damages.  

Similarly as in the specific case of Studiocanal / W4ch TV claiming global copyright against a film that has been in the public domain in the US for many years, there is the situation that though the copyright claim is not valid and can not be applied to creators within the USA, YouTube may uphold their claims, being that they have made the claim to other international territories. 

To uphold my rights of Public Domain use, I will have to sue W4ch / Studiocanal. I imagine such a  lawsuit would be difficult being that the company is located in France.  The real question becomes, will YouTube uphold US Public Domain Law, or issue a Copyright Strike against my YouTube channel for fighting them, if they decide to maintain their claim.  Do I really want to consult a copyright attorney over a public domain video?  Maybe, as past US presidents have said, "Nothing is off the table".

Eventually, someone is going to actually fight these kinds of over reaching claims, tooth and nail as we say here in the US, with a class action suit so that everyone whose rights have been impeded can get a little justice and possibly a little money, if nothing else.  There are so many creators who have experienced this or similar issues on YouTube, there is plenty of space for the right group of attorneys to file a class action suit. 

Aram Pan had a similar experience with a different digital management group after using a licensed piece of music from Digital Juice.  Digital Juice is a media company here in the U.S. that is mainly known and used by those of us in the film industry. In his case, he went to Digital Juice for assistance, but ultimately, as in the case with most of these kinds of claims on YouTube, it didn't ultimately go well for him.  These companies making these claims are making money off of copyrights they do not own, so of course they are not going to give that away or surrender it, at least not until a new massive lawsuit is filed against YouTube that re-balances things that the original lawsuit was supposed to fix but instead gave us what we know now. Read his story HERE.

Aram had this to say about YouTube copyright strike system: "There is no way for innocent members of the public to defend against such false take down notices should such companies decide to pursue the case to the fullest."

Until then, know the laws of the country you are in, know the limitations of those laws, fight any claims that you have legal rights against, and for cases where YouTube fails to reasonably assist you in obtaining any information so you can contact those representing claims against your rights, it might just be easier to start using a video network like UTREON or one of the other growing platforms for video and music.

Some of my videos that did poorly on YouTube due to their algorithms, have done exceptionally well on Utreon, where my videos are found organically, or in other words, unlike YouTube; Utreon does not currently have any algorithms that hide the videos of smaller channels and creators, or give preference to one channel over another.