BBC Brass Tacks - Police Trunchions

‘Kids’ YouTube clip hit by another music copyright warning!

What is it about the music used in this clip, Title Music from A Clockwork Orange by Walter (now Wendy) Carlos, that makes so many companies  want to claim the copyright?

There are plenty of videos on YouTube that use incidental music, and plenty of others where the music isn’t just incidental, it’s all there is!

But the music in this clip has so many resonances with the subject matter and is so obviously being used for the purposes of criticism, research, teaching, historical archiving  and scholarship. If ever there was an example of fair use under copyright legislation surely this must be it!  And it’s not as if Walter/Wendy wrote it him/herself. He/she transcribed it for the Moog Synthesiser from  Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary, written by Henry Purcell more than 300 years ago in 1695!

So why was the sound muted by YouTube within hours of of the clip being uploaded 4 years ago because of a copyright claim from Warner Music Group (WMG)?

BBC Brass Tacks - Police Trunchions

Why was the sound restored many months later with not one word of explanation whatsoever from either WMG or YouTube? And why, after 4 years online without further comment, did I receive an email from YouTube this morning warning that copyright was being claimed by someone else?

Copyright Notice Details:

“MSD-Be carefull”, sound recording administered by IDOL

I  have no idea what MSD-Be careful or IDOL mean, and even less idea what they have to do with anything. If anyone can enlighten me, please leave a comment below.

I’ve tried clicking the Dispute button on YouTube‘s Copyright Notice but all it offers is a list of boxes to tick. I tried ticking the “My use of the content meets the legal requirements for fair use” option, but that took me to a page where you have to confirm you’re SURE it meets the legal requirements. As the only way to be SURE would be to test it in court, which could cost hundreds of times more than I could earn in a whole lifetime, I decided to to tick the “I gave credit in the video” option instead. Which gave me this notice:

Giving credit does not give you authorisation to upload the content. Even if you never claimed to own the copyright or gave the copyright owner credit, posting these videos on YouTube may violate copyright law.

Yes, it MAY do. And the moon MAY be made of green cheese. It’s pretty obvious this clip meets all of the fair use requirements, but those with much deeper pockets than mine could easily keep a team of high-flying lawyers busy for years trying to prove it doesn’t. And, if they succeeded, I would have to pay their bills!

If you’re as interested as I am in  discovering what this means and how it will pan out, watch this space!


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