The embattled Big Tech Giant is facing backlash from content creators and fans after allowing a Colombian record label to claim copyright ownership of an artist’s original work.
YouTube artist TheFatRat says the platform is allowing Ramjets Group, a possibly fictitious record label in Medellín, Colombia, to claim copyright ownership of a two year old song created entirely by the artist. After attempting to explain his ownership of the music to YouTube, the company denied his appeal, and proceeded to give all future money made from the video to Ramjets Group.
Ramjets Group, the entity responsible for the complaint, describes itself as a record label with 11-50 employees located in Colombia. Google Maps reveals the address posted to the company’s LinkedIn to be a garbage strewn residential street in a poor part of the city, and the company’s Twitter account was only used twice in 2014, when its LinkedIn suggests it was founded.
TheFatRat took to Twitter to express his frustration with the situation “Are you f*cking kidding me YouTube,” he wrote, “This is my f*cking song!”
UPDATE: I'm sure I'll get this sorted out with a lawyer but @YouTube's attitude here is mind-blowing. A guy claims my video, @YouTube gives the monetisation to him but then tells me it's not their business. Also notice they call HIM "content owner"! IT'S #MYFUCKINGSONG GODDAMIT pic.twitter.com/yKlL9ctXh4
— TheFatRat (@ThisIsTheFatRat) December 14, 2018
In a series of followup tweets, the artist revealed he is exploring the situation with his legal team, as YouTube says it will not assist in further mediation of the copyright dispute.
TheFatRat also expressed his frustration with YouTube, calling the platform’s attitude “mind blowing”, and describing the company’s copyright policy as anti-content creator.
The more I learn about the @YouTube copyright protection system, the more I learn how much it works against content creators.
Time to start a petition!
— TheFatRat (@ThisIsTheFatRat) December 19, 2018
The YouTube video, “The Calling (feat. Laura Brehm)”, was released in 2016, and was monetized by TheFatRat until this copyright strike. Laura Brehm, who provided vocals for the track, praised top YouTube content creator PewDiePie on Twitter for bringing attention to the issue.
Thank you @pewdiepie for bringing awareness to the issues with @YouTube’s copyright protection system (he mentions “The Calling” at about 8 min in!!) @ThisIsTheFatRat https://t.co/AiP4yrdQSQ
YouTube – take notice! @youtubemusic @YTCreators
— Laura Brehm (@laurakbrehm) December 20, 2018
PewDiePie described the situation on his YouTube channel, and revealed several of his own experiences with the YouTube copyright system.
“This has happened to me as well,” said PewDiePie, “I literally just sang a song, Despacito, and lost all revenue on a video for doing that.”
PewDiePie and YouTube have made headlines over the last week, after Buzzfeed and a coalition of other media companies claimed the most popular YouTube creator used the platform to guide children to smaller, anti-Semitic YouTube channels, and shamed YouTube for allowing this to happen.
This led one high school teacher to warn students that merely sharing PewDiePie’s content could land them in legal trouble, and to Alex Jones issuing a command for all InfoWarriors to subscribe to PewDiePie on YouTube.
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