Youtube copyright trolls Adrev claim to own a homemade MIDI rendition of 1899's Flight of the Bumblebee

Chris Knight recorded a video of the bees in his backyard and wanted to accompany it with a rendition of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's 1899 composition "The Flight of the Bumblebee."

Mindful of the copyright problems that plague Youtube creators who use professionally performed renditions of classical music, Knight made his own version, by feeding the sheet music to a MIDI synthesizer, noting that he'd done so on the page description: "The musical accompaniment is a computer generated audio track created from a MIDI file transcribed from the original score. As the score itself is long out of copyright, and this is not a human performance, you would be blatantly abusing the Youtube copyright system if you attempt to file a claim against this video."

You will never absolutely guess what happened next.

A company called "Adrev" filed an automated claim against Knight's video, through which they were able to force the video to have ads whose revenues were diverted to Adrev's coffers.

There are plenty of weird things about Adrev's act of copyfraud. First, they only claimed copyright on a three-minute chunk of the music (the entire composition is repeated 60 times in the video). Knight hypothesizes that this is a tactic that lets them file a new claim against him if he disputes this one.

Knight's well-versed on the obscure subject of Youtube copyright claims, so he was willing to dispute this one, despite Youtube's dire warning that if he did so and was found to have infringed copyright, he would face a strike against his account, which could lead to its permanent deletion.

However, no such penalties have accrued to Adrev, who have been claiming copyright over public domain renditions of Flight of the Bumblebee since at least 2017, with no penalties from Youtube.

In another display of bias against the creators that made Youtube what it is, when a claim is filed it goes into effect immediately; but they then have thirty days to respond to your dispute. That’s thirty days where a creator is in limbo stressing about the fate of their monetization. I wonder how many claims are filed by automated systems and then left hanging for thirty days after they are disputed?

This is what YouTube has become: A platform where content creators upload videos and copyright trolls can file an illegitimate automated claim and steal any potential revenue, and where the threat of a lost account will deter people from disputing those claims.

The absurdity of YouTube’s Copyright Claim System [Chris Knight/Ghostwheel]

(Thanks, Chris!)