They’re at it again

They’re at it again

Another of my indignant threads, nothing new. I record a few tunes for members/patrons every month, something quick and informal; I just grab the whistle (nothing else) and play whatever comes to mind for a minute and I post it on YouTube for them (my channel is TinWhistler). Well, I’ve received a copyright claim two months in a row.

Last month the system recognized The Kid on the Mountain as a copyrighted song called "CELTIC WEDDING". So absurd. The system’s explanation is: "The melody is the words and music written by the songwriters and composers. These rights are often managed by different rights holders in each country and are separate from the rights associated with recordings of the song".
Copyright owners: AdRev Publishing

I uploaded another of these videos right now and I just got an email from YouTube about another copyright claim. This time the tune was identified correctly, it’s The Old Bush. In this case it’s an audio claim, so I guess they’re thinking it’s not me playing the whistle but someone else’s recording. I used a C tin whistle.
Content used: The Old Bush / Liam O’ Maonlai
Copyright owners: [Merlin] Redeye Distribution / On behalf of: Rian Records

In both cases it says they’re not copyright strikes, so my channel is supposedly safe. They just want either a piece of my ad revenue or all of it (absurd: currently my member-only videos get 4 views if I’m lucky). What makes me really mad is when it happens to public videos. Also, if I ever did get copyright strikes due to these absurd automated IDs, my channel could be terminated.

Why can’t they just leave trad tunes alone? I often publish music with my brother through a digital distributor but it would never cross my mind to copyright trad tunes. Are you guys encountering this problem lately too?

Re: They’re at it again

"Why can’t they just leave trad tunes alone?" Because the world of trad tunes is microscopic in the realm of what google has to try to police that it insignificant enough it doesn’t warrant any special protections from their point of view. I’m sure they’re just using algorithms and AI to detect violations like that, and it’s probably just not worth it for them to code some sort of understanding of what is trad and what isn’t as a special case. It’s sad from our point of view, but it’s the reality.

Since I normally teach a weekly tune learning session, I have also been recording videos teaching tunes to people during the pandemic. And I haven’t gotten flagged yet, but that might be because I am breaking the tunes down phrase by phrase, but each video has each tune played all the way through usually 4-5 times. But it might also be that it’s because my videos are private, just for the people on my list. Not sure…

Re: They’re at it again

It’s not just ITM; the same issue is affecting classical musicians. In one particularly horrifying example, a classical pianist was live-streaming a Beethoven sonata on Facebook, and his livestream was interrupted because the Facebook software decided that the notes he was playing were "owned by Naxos of America". (Source:

I think the immediate question, right now, is a very simple one:

What are the best alternatives to Facebook and Youtube?

Re: They’re at it again

This is a very unqualified opinion, but I really think IP when it comes to things like this should be self-policed, either by the author or a designated third party.

If I penned some little ditty that took the world by storm, I’d rely on my agent or manager or record producer to keep an eye on people making bank without giving me a cut. I’d neither want nor expect EVERY single use of it to be restricted, pending my permission and a cut of the tuppence ha’penny earned in ad revenue.

Likewise, if I had created something marginally popular that started getting played by others I’d keep an eye on it myself and contact them saying ‘Hi there, I composed this - I don’t want any money, but I’d appreciate it if you mentioned that I’m the original composer. Cheers’.

I’m all for copyright and IP law, but I think the onus should be on individuals (or an appointed organisation) to keep track of how their stuff is being used. If you don’t care enough to keep an eye on it, then that’s on you.

That said, I think it’s pretty murky waters when it comes to copyrighting art, especially music. If I played a Taylor Swift song (for example only!) and put it up on youtube, any money I make from it is going to be primarily due to my skill as a performer, not the content of the song.

That’s my ramble, anyway.


PS: As a youtube alternative, perhaps

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Re: They’re at it again

I used to watch people play trad tunes on Instagram. The time is limited though, you could probably only play one tune at a time.