Two men charged in YouTube ContentID scam

ContentID, YouTube's internal copyright enforcement program, was originally built to appease the entertainment industry and is notoriously easy to manipulate. Copyfraud (falsely claiming to own the work of others) is rife and the shakedown artists (give me money or I'll use ContentID to kill your channel) are everywhere. But now two alleged crooks have been indicted, Andy Maxwell reports, in a $20m ContentID scam.

The basics are straightforward. Starting sometime in 2017 through to at least April 30, 2021, Fernandez and Teran began monetizing music on YouTube for a vast library of more than 50,000 songs, none of which they owned the rights to.

The pair falsely represented to YouTube and an intermediary company identified only by the initials A.R. that they were the owners of the music and were entitled to collect "royalty payments" from their use on YouTube