Gareth Evans holds a YouTube channel with over 770,000 subscribers, on which he posts acoustic interpretations of popular songs, alongside tutorials. The YouTuber however was not pleased when he was recently hit with five copyright strikes from anti-piracy specialist MUSO, on behalf of Faber Music. YouTube’s policy holds that once three strikes have been received, the streamer’s channel is subject to termination.
The copyright claim concerned guitar tabs, which are songs marked with chord diagrams, and feature regularly on Evans’ channel. Nevertheless, the YouTuber argued that “every aspect of his videos is generated by himself” including the song covers and his own tab arrangements. Furthermore, he continued by insisting that the whole system which overlooks such issues is automated, as it seemed impossible to get a human to look over the case and judge it.
Another issue which arises is that YouTube enable users to upload content freely, before any review. Although guidelines are firmly established, they can sometimes appear vague and be used to the advantage of the copyright claimant, regardless of whether the infringement was innocent or wilful. Evans also declared that he didn’t receive any support or communication from YouTube regarding the potential channel termination, prior to him speaking out about it. After that he was contacted and given more information regarding the reasoning of the copyright strikes. It would be a very time-consuming job if a YouTube employee was required to look at every copyright strike, as that would be a large quantity of daily occurrences , however, maybe it is necessary to receive a human interpretation of each scenario, before the system potentially shuts a channel down.
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