YouTube's 'Royalty-Free Audio' Library Results In Mass Copyright Strikes

YouTube's 'Royalty-Free Audio' Library Results In Mass Copyright Strikes

Several popular gaming YouTubers have had videos that receive mass copyright strikes. The use the track “Dreams” by Joakim Karud is the center the controversy.

YouTuber Matt Lowne took to Twitter over the weekend to ask about copyright strikes he was receiving. He’s been uploading videos the space simulation game Kerbal Space Program since 2013.

Lowne’s intro samples the track “Dreams” by Joakim Karud ⁠— which he obtained from YouTube’s audio library.

Despite going through the proper channels (and not being a problem for six years), all hell broke loose last week. Lowne began receiving email after email from YouTube for copyright strikes. Every single one his Kerbal Space Program videos had been targeted.

Copies the email said the videos “may have content owned or licensed by SonyATV, PeerMusic, Warner Chappell, Audiam and LatinAutor.” Now all ads displayed on those videos split the revenue between all named companies.

The composer the track in question has allowed anyone to use his music on YouTube commercially for free. Matt downloaded the track from YouTube’s own audio library, so what’s the issue here? Does this mean any music in that library is not safe to use for creators?

Matt tried to protest the automated claims manually, but they were all rejected. Now his only option is to appeal the decision for each video.

If an appeal is lost, videos are removed completely, and he will receive a copyright strike. With hundreds claims against his account and a three-strikes you’re out policy ⁠— Matt isn’t eager to tackle the issue.

The issue isn’t isolated to one Kerbal Space Program video maker either. Several reports on Twitter surfaced after Matt revealed what happened to him ⁠— and it finally painted a clearer picture why the claims happened.

Both SonyATV and Warner Chappell were aggressively claiming the song because it samples another song ⁠— Kenny Burrell Quartet’s “Weaver Dreams.” That 1956 song’s copyright is owned by none other than SonyATV and Warner/Chappell.