Like it isn’t hard enough for up-and-coming musicians to make a living off their own musical creations but it becomes so much more difficult when the likes of major labels blatantly rip-off and cheat indie artists.
Sadly, the guys at Torrent Freak have reported on the terrible story of a Norwegian musician, Bjorn Lynne, who’s music had been hijacked by Universal Music Group (UMG), the giant company monetising Lynne’s music on YouTube despite having no ownership of his songs, Lynne forced to fight for the return of his own music.
This is a messy, almost unbelievable case!
Lynne claims that “UMG, or somebody who produces content for them” found his song ‘Kingdom of the Persians’ and used it as background for an audio book that has also been released on CD – to which he says, “fair enough, if they have paid the license fee).” The issue arises when UMG loaded the audio book containing Lynne’s song into YouTube’s Content-ID System.
When a song is uploaded into YouTube’s Content-ID System, any other duplicates that appear will instantly be sniffed-out by the system which will send an automated “Copyright Notice” to the uploader informing them that the music they’ve just loaded to YouTube is owned by somebody else, giving the uploader the option of removing the song, in addition to this advertising can be placed on the video, to which revenue from that advertising is then paid to the original uploader (and owner) of that music.
In the case of Lynne versus Universal Music Group, the audio book that plays Lynne’s song ‘Kingdom of the Persians’ on YouTube now features advertisements, however this money is being paid to Universal Music Group who have claimed ownership of the material, leaving Lynne with nothing despite it being his music being played.
Outraged, Lynne has of course reached-out to YouTube to dispute the current situation, explaining this on his Facebook, “I feel powerless and I’m left to watch my music being raped by a media giant, who sits behind closed curtains, ignores the rightful owner of the music and just goes ‘Nah, we’ll take it anyway’. Screw you, Universal Music Group!”
Adamant to halt UMG from earning money from his music, Lynne took his case to the highest appeal on YouTube, to which he reveals that his videos have finally been freed, and he beat UMG.
Since telling his story his post has been flooded with other artists who have shared similar stories of how they were squeezed out of earning profits from their own music by major labels, Lynne of course is not the first person to suffer at the hands of UMG and the ilk.
Advising others who had gone through the same situation, he wrote to Facebook, “Going through the ‘appeal’ at YouTube is a pretty scary process, because YouTube uses some very strong language to warn you that you may face legal action and/or your YouTube account may be shut down. I did it nevertheless, I was that hell bent on getting UMG to stop monetizing my music and claiming ownership of it.”
A victory for the little guy against major corporations is always cause for celebration, however Lynne should never have had his music hijacked in the first place, nonetheless, kudos to the Norwegian musician for his fearlessness in fighting for ownership of his own music.
Read the full Facebook post