Yesterday I posted about my concerns over YouTube suddenly adding adverts to the school channel and, as I later discovered, also appearing before and over the top of the 'Welcome to Porchester' video. After lots of digging and work by Kevin McLaughlin (@kvnmcl), (please note that that is appreciated greatly), it looked like the ads were appearing because the school was showing a video with copyrighted material.
That confused me, the 'Welcome' video was made in school, with clips recorded at school, and dropped into an iMovie movie trailer theme. We hadn't used anything that was copyrighted as was being suggested.
A link to a YouTube forum posting showed me that I wasn't the only one with this problem, and others were facing the same issue.
I went back into the school YouTube channel, and looked on the settings page. Sure enough there was a message stating "You have videos that may contain content that is owned by someone else. Please review these videos". Clicking through, it did indeed seem like the 'Welcome' video was infringing on the copyright of a firm called 'Break Media'.
It also said below this that "No action is required on your part. Your video is still available worldwide. In some cases, ads may appear next to your video." Now look at that last part. A copyright dispute had led to the showing of adverts?
Now I will need to check again carefully but I'm sure that all the sound effects, jingles and music that are available within iMovie are Royalty free, and available to use in your own projects without the fear of copyright. Of course, if someone reuses those sounds and then copyrights their creation, does that mean that they 'own' the sounds? Surely that's not right.
Our Animoto videos were also listed too - apparently we had audio content on those videos from Audio Network that was infringing on copyright. Audio Network. The website we can only access IN school, through the National Educational Network, that licences schools to use its audio for educational projects. Is an Animoto slideshow, created in school, about school events, not considered an educational project then?
So it seems that the algorithms YouTube use to detect copyright breaches don't work! They are detecting non copyrighted, or legally licenced, aspects of a video and as a result slapping adverts on the school channel.
I've fired off several dispute forms relating to the affected videos - explaining quite clearly how I think they've got it wrong - and I'm waiting for a reply. It seems YouTube are waiting for Break Media to get in touch with them;
In the meantime, the adverts *seem* to have stopped. They are not appearing on the channel when I check now (both logged in and out). However, if others see the ads, please let me know.
One final thought I have on the whole issue is this. YouTube is owned by Google. Google makes its money from advertising. As soon as a video on Youtube is flagged up as having copyright issues, they slap adverts on it, and a channel. Are their algorithms too severe, because they know it will catch out genuine videos like ours (but in the meantime show ads and increase their revenue).
In other words, is Google deliberately making money out of mis-labelling videos on its video service?