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“Open Goldberg Variations – BWV 988 -01 -Aria” Youtube Upload: False Claims and Disputes Report

June 4, 2013

Hello again!

I’d like to apologize for taking so long to update this blog. It has always been a side-project for me and, as with most side-projects, it is all too easy to neglect it. Recently I’d considered shutting this blog down and giving up, as I hadn’t had much response to it and I’d failed to update it in anything resembling a timely manner. However, thanks to some encouraging comments from Viewfinder Visuals, I’ve decided to go ahead and update the darn thing once and for all. I apologize if my memory is a bit fuzzy on some of these details (I did all these upload “experiments” last fall) but I tried keeping fairly detailed notes at the time so hopefully all of the information I present here is accurate.

I’m breaking these reports up into separate blog posts, so there will be one blog post per video upload. Let’s begin, shall we? All of the essential information here is simply copied and pasted (with minor alterations) from my original video descriptions, but I’ll also be organizing some of the more useful resource information separately. Specifically, I’ll organize the email addresses of various corporate entities who administer these copyright claims, which are sometimes difficult to find and to my knowledge there is no other database of them anywhere online.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zssZp4rcQh4

Source Type: Sound Recording
Source: “Goldberg Variations – MWV 988 -01- Aria”
Music by J.S. Bach, 1741
Recording/Performance on Piano by Kimiko Ishizaka
Released as part of the Open Goldberg Variations Project and funded on Kickstarter

Notes on Copyright Status:

Bach’s music, the Open Goldberg Variations, are in the public domain due to having been written in 1741, making them too old to be copyrighted in the U.S.

Kimiko Ishizaka’s recording of her performance of the Goldberg Variations is in the public domain because she released it into the public domain using the Creative Commons Zero Waiver on May 28th, 2012.

Download it for free at: http://www.opengoldbergvariations.org/

False Copyright Claims On This Recording::

“Miki Skuta-Aria”, sound recording administered by:
Believe

“Audun Kayser-Aria Da Capo E Fine”, sound recording administered by:
[Merlin] Phonofile”

UPDATE: Four days later, just a day after one of the original two copyright claims was released, two more copyright claims have been added.

“Remi Masunaga-Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Aria da Capo è Fine”, sound recording administered by:
IDOL

“Vladimir Feltsman-Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Aria”, sound recording administered by:
The Orchard Music

False Copyright Claims on Accounts Other Than This One:

On the Youtube channel TheJeremyKellerman, a video was uploaded titled “Please Support Didgery – A Jeremy Kellerman Endorsement.” It also sampled this track. However, strangely, in that case a false copyright claim was attributed to a company called IDOL ( my research suggests that this is a French corporation called “Internet Distribution On Line”) on behalf of another classical pianist, Remi Masunaga, for her own recording of this track from the Goldberg Variations. Bizarrely, that claim was not also [originally] made on this upload.

Information on My Attempts to Contest the Claim (to be updated when appropriate):

9/16/2012: I have done some Google searching and I believe the copyright claimants in this case are European distributors for independent musicians. I have contacted both of them by email (the company “Believe” actually has a specific person listed for contact, a Mr. Arnaud Chiriamonti) and am awaiting a reply. If they do not reply in over 24 hours, as per my policy for uploads on this channel, I will be forced to use Youtube’s claim dispute process. I will update when I get a reply or after 24 hours passes and I attempt to dispute the claims, whichever happens first.

Update, 9/17/2012: I have received no replies and filed a claim dispute. Both claimants have a month to respond.

Update, 9/18/2012: After sending the emails to both claimants and then filing a dispute yesterday, I got an email today from [Merlin] Phonofile, from someone named Rune. This was what his email said:

“Hello,
The reason why we are claiming this video is that we distribute the music release digitally via Bergen Digital.
So I guess you have to take it with them if you have a claim.
We remove all claims anyways for fair use and this is only for audio use (in the us for now)

Best,
Rune
Phonofile”

After receiving the email I found that the claim was released. The claim from “Believe” is still awaiting a response to the dispute, however. For a few final thoughts and observations on the Phonofile claim, see the “Resolution” section below.

Update:

As of 9/19/2012, and just a day after the Phonofile claim was released, two new claims came in from the Orchard Music and IDOL.

I’ll need to seek out contact information for The Orchard Music. I’ll email them and give them the usual 24 hours to release the claim before filing a dispute.

Update: No email reply was received, so I filed a dispute on 9/21/2012.

As of 9/21/2012, The Orchard Music released their claim and SME added another one and had the video blocked in Germany! I’ve filed yet another dispute.

Contact Info for the Copyright Claimants can be found at:

http://www.phonofile.com/?page_id=11

and

http://www.believedigital.com/contact…

Phonofile’s General Inquiries Contact Address is: post@phonofile.com

Believe’s Contact for Distribution Services and Media Inquiries is: arno@believedigital.com, the email address of Arnaud Chiriamonti

Resolution:

9/18/2012: After getting the email posted above from Rune at Phonofile, the claim from [Merlin] Phonofile was released.

9/18/2012: The “Believe” claim remains active and I will update here when it is resolved, one way or another.

Update: The “Believe” claim has been released, presumably, though, this is actually due to the dispute receiving no response by the 10/16/2012 deadline.

Update: SME has falsely reinstated its claim on this video, and I’m apparently ineligible to appeal this.

Update: IDOL released its claim on 10/21/2012.

Update: SME has released its copyright claim, as of now, 11/12/2012.

Final Thoughts:

The Aria, the first track of the Open Goldberg Variations, was by far one of the most problematic uploads I attempted. It had one of the highest numbers of false claims against it, including a rare false reinstatement of my dispute, and it seemed that every time I disputed a false claim, two more would appear.

The email from Rune at [Merlin] Phonofile was one of the most personal and direct that I received, and I very much appreciated the quickness and directness of the reply. I think it unfortunately also highlights the problems of international copyright law in the internet age: the company representative in charge of taking down false copyright claims seemed to be unaware of the law himself. He referred to “audio only” being “fair use.” I’m not sure what country he was based in, so I have no idea if the laws he was used to are different, but under US law “audio only” would not constitute fair use…it would be the very definition of copyright infringement! Nonetheless, I’m very grateful to Rune for getting in touch and sorting out the mistaken claim.

None of the other false copyright claimants responded directly, that I can recall (I can’t find any records of any responses to these claims in my emails) but after disputing and emailing them all the claims were released. It was certainly one of the longer-lasting cases, though, as new false claims kept cropping up long after the initial upload.

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