YouTube now disabling audio rather than removing entire video

Interesting… YouTube is now disabling the audio rather than removing the entire video (where the audio copyright is in dispute or there are infringements).

The notice says: “The video contains an audio track that has not been authorized by [name of music publisher]. The audio has been disabled. More about copyright.”

Here’s a screenshot of the notice (click on the image for larger size):
YouTube - disabling audio rather than removing entire video
(I took the screenshot from this video I stumbled upon.)

Apparently it was quietly introduced since Jan 2009, as I discovered from posts like this and this.

I’d suggest YouTube could go one step further: suggest or direct the YouTube user to sites like ccMixter for suitable CC licensed materials.

Or include a para or link to Creative Commons at their YouTube “More about Copyright” page :)

~ Ivan

  1. Ivan, I’ve not encountered the “soundless” Youtubes videos, but instead seen plenty where a popup appears inviting viewers to buy the playing audio track off iTunes, Amazon and so on. I believe it’s dependent on the choice of record labels.

    Also, here’s Youtube’s official word on the subject entitled “User Choice and Music Licensing” on January 14, 2009. As seen on

    Youtube Blog: “User Choice and Music Licensing”

    Music licensing can get very complicated, but we try to make your experience as simple as possible. We want you to have options when uploading videos with music in them. And if your video is subject to a copyright claim, you should have some choices too.

    Previously, when a music label or other rights owner issued a copyright claim to block audio, the video was automatically taken down. Uploaders had two choices: dispute the claim (in the case of fair use, for example) or use our AudioSwap tool to replace the track with one from our library of pre-cleared music. Now we’ve added an additional choice. Instead of automatically removing the video from YouTube, we give users the option to modify the video by removing the music subject to the copyright claim and post the new version, and many of them are taking that option.

    Our content management tools have revolutionized the ways in which users and content owners are distributing, marketing, and making money from video online. As we continue to build out this system, we are working to find the right balance between encouraging creativity and free expression and respecting the rights of copyright holders and the law.

  2. Thanks for the info, Kevin! Personally I feel YouTube is leading the way in acting as a responsible service provider. Allowing both music publishers and YouTube users choices is brilliant.

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