Lionsgate accused of abusing YouTube's contentID system to remove criticism of its movies

Entertainment giant Lionsgate is allegedly using contentID, YouTube's internal copyright arbitation process, to remove criticism of its movies. (Note that "Angry Joe", the author of the viral video embedded above, uses a lot of NSFW language and gets very angry indeed.)

The top comment on the main Reddit thread sums up the key problem with contentID: if the claimant refuses to back down, the claimant wins automatically after it manually affirms the claim. Counterclaims are a sham that dooms the counterclaimant to penalties and jeopardizes their account. YouTube tells the victim to sue the claimant in court if the video is in fact falsely claimed.

False contentID claims can therefore be used to take control of the revenue generated by videos that would, at least, pass muster as fair use under copyright law, but which sometimes contain no copyrightable material at all!

Some fraudsters profit from contentID claims on content they know they don't own. But the ContentID system is so shambolically defective it can also be gamed by victims. Popular games YouTuber Jim Sterling includes numerous short clips in every video which he knows will generate competing contentID claims for the whole upload. This prevents YouTube contentID bots and sharks from monetizing his work or taking it down.

The brick wall that all YouTubers face, though, is that YouTube gets to decide what is on its own website and who it wants to give money to. If you choose it as a platform, you are agreeing to subject yourself to its intentionally-broken copyright arbitration system, and you are agreeing to let it pay other people for your work. Given this, it's better to approach it pragmatically than to expect it to reflect a just understanding of copyright law. Get the YouTube audience, use whatever tricks are available to stymie contentID abuse without being banned, and diversify income as best you can though outside sources such as patreon, sponsorships, affiliate links and merchandising.

Lionsgate has past form as an alleged copyfraudster, though not lately.

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