A YouTuber by the name of ‘SmellyOctopus’ is just the latest case in a string of YouTubers having their own content claimed on grounds of copyright infringement - this time, for using his own voice.
SmellyOctopus posted a video to Twitter on January 8, which showed a claim on his nine-minute livestream from a company called ‘CD Baby’ for allegedly using content owned by music label ‘Global Publishers Canada, Inc.’
Here’s the catch; the YouTuber was using the stream as a means to test his audio equipment, meaning that his voice marked the only audio throughout the entirety of the broadcast.
So apparently your voice can be copyright claimed on YouTube. I was testing my mic filters on a private stream and after I was done it got claimed by CD Baby.— SmellyOctopus (@SmellyOctopus) January 8, 2019
Really @YouTube @TeamYouTube pic.twitter.com/k7EwoPGwSn
Additionally, both the stream and the subsequent automatic upload of the video were marked as ‘private,’ leading to understandable frustration from the YouTuber.
“You hear that?” SmellyOctopus said of the offending segment. “That’s my voice. ...so, apparently, ‘CD Baby’ owns the right to my voice. I should probably get that fixed, or, YouTube needs to fix their shit.”
This isn’t the first time a YouTuber’s original content has been claimed on copyright grounds, either; popular YouTuber and music artist ‘TheFatRat’ had his own song stricken from the platform by a user named ‘Ramjets,’ due to a bootleg of the track that had been remixed by another artist.
‘TheFatRat’ noted that ‘Ramjets’ had little to no contact information, leading to a frustrating wild goose chase in an attempt to release the claim. Although YouTube eventually settled the issue, other YouTubers have since expressed mass dissatisfaction with the site’s copyright system, calling for a change to the algorithm - which ultimately favors the claimant over the creator.
YouTube has since explained the strike against SmellyOctopus's video as a mistake with the system's Content ID tool, stating that CD Baby has released the claim.
To clarify, this isn't something that CD Baby initiated -- this was a mistake with the Content ID matching tool. As soon as they were made aware of the claim, they released it.— Team YouTube (@TeamYouTube) January 10, 2019