Content ID, YouTube’s matching system aimed to assist copyright holders in identifying and monetising their content on the site, has directly caused the mismanagement of an original musical work.

Sebastian Tomczak, who has a PhD in video-game music and sound processing, created “10 Hours of Low Level White Noise”, an original composition of low-level frquencies and uploaded it to YouTube in 2015.

As of the 4 January 2018, his video has attracted five copyright claims, made predominantly by those who manage similar soundscapes for sleep therapy. One such company Catapult Distribution, notes its client’s work “Majestic Ocean Waves” has been infringed.

Such claims were automated in that they were made via Content ID, which uses, amongst other processes, audio-fingerprinting to help identify where a rights holder’s content has been used without consent.

The video itself has not been taken down. Instead, a portion of revenue made by the video through advertising is given to those Content ID deems to be the rights holders.

In this respect, Content ID has not only failed to adequately protect a content owner’s original work from third parties but has impeded the owner’s ability to properly maintain a full revenue stream.

A review to set aside claims like these should be held in order to ensure Content ID’s actions align with its purpose.

Unfortunatley this is not the first time Content ID had detrimented a rights holder. In 2012, a video of a man picking wild salad features the chirping of birds in the background. Those noises were identified by Content ID as belonging to music firm Rumblefish.

The company blamed Content ID for its confusing approach and removed the claim, albeit, slightly red faced.

In Tomczak’s case, the claims continue, despite the lack of any real revenue from the video.

Google, in response, have noted the infrequency in which Content ID makes invalid claims, standing at 1%.