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On the podcast The Final Score I do a gameplay review segment called The Odd Mod. Each week I pick a weird modification of a game and I review it during the show. On show 25 of The Final Score I chose the mod QuickFlip for Quake 1. I recorded my gameplay and posted it on YouTube and linked to it for everyone to see. This has worked great in the past.

However, this time after I uploaded my gameplay I noticed that the audio was missing from my video and I received this email from YouTube shortly thereafter:

Dear thebriandunaway,

Your video, output, may have content that is owned or licensed by WMG.

No action is required on your part; however, if you are interested in learning how this affects your video, please visit the Content ID Matches section of your account for more information.

Sincerely,
– The YouTube Team

It is true that the Quake mod has embedded the song “Hit The Road Jack” performed by Ray Charles which you can obviously hear in my gameplay review.

The video is a little over 1 minute long and contains a mix of the song in question, Quake audio effects and KickFlip audio effects. So my question is this: Technically speaking this is a review of gameplay. The song is embedded in the game. Legally shouldn’t I be able to post such a review without getting permission from the creators?

Once again, I am asking legally. I’m not asking whether youtube has the right to refuse service to anyone.

Also, this seemed to be pretty automated. The audio was cut almost immediately. I wonder what kind of AI they are running over there to catch all this or if there is some guy there watching all the videos. Weirdo.

By the way, you can hear the audio if you go to my page on YouTube https://youtube.com/thebriandunaway but not on the direct link for the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZKJW1ccuf0

UPDATE: Thanks for the heads up from Aaron Spain in the comments about contesting the ruling on YouTube. I dug a little further and was able to fill out a form for contesting that the video was Fair Use and YouTube turned the audio back on. Now let’s see if it stays on.

By Brian Dunaway

Hey everybody! It's me. Brian-O! I hope you are enjoying the website. SNARF!

2 replies on “NoTube”

Shouldn’t all of this fall under Fair Use? You aren’t attempting to make a profit from this video (or the media within it.) So by crediting the “questionable” media you are giving credit where it’s due. Just like the millions of people using music for their machinima and Ke$ha mash-ups.

Dear thebriandunaway,

Tom (Merritt) actually mentioned this a couple days ago on TNT. Their YouTube channel gets hit quite often with this type of thing due to their reviews. The way I understand it is that this is indeed an automated system, and even TWiT gets hit by it. They have to appeal it.

YouTube can’t realistically manually check all videos for © material, so they throw another magic Google algorithm at it. I’m fairly certain this would fall under fair use, but YouTube seems to just take everything down with no discretion and then assumes if it is indeed Fair Use, etc, the submitter will appeal the take down.

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