YouTube Mutes (Some) Copyrighted Music

Sound of silence vs. lawsuits

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If you happen to come across some silent YouTube videos today, there’s no need to start investigating your speaker settings and browser defaults.  It seems that the "problem" is on YouTube’s end; the site’s owners have chosen to mute certain clips as a way of dealing with copyright violations.

Look beneath affected videos, and you’ll see the short, simple, official explanation: "This video contains an audio track that has not been authorized by all copyright holders.  The audio has been disabled."  Google’s no doubt hoping this step will allow it to avoid lawsuits and expensive payouts, and it does seem like a logical enough solution. 

YouTube Muted

Look even lower on the pages, though, and you’ll be able to read outraged comments from any number of users.  Some rail against the RIAA; some criticize YouTube.  Others go straight to suggesting possible solutions, and these include visiting other video-sharing sites or turning to things like Limewire and the Pirate Bay.

Still, it appears that YouTube hasn’t gone all-out with this answer to the copyright problem, since it’s far easier to find videos that haven’t been muted than ones that have.  Stan Schroeder provided a link to "Laundromat Blues" by Albert King if you’re looking for an example of a clip that was hit.

We’ll try to monitor whether the muting experiment – and the backlash to it – spreads or dies in the weeks ahead.

YouTube Mutes (Some) Copyrighted Music
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  • http://www.make-your-own-dance-and-techno-songs.com/ Dominic

    And we wonder why people go more towards piracy.

    I think there are three people to blame here

    1- Youtube. They knew for sometime that copyright music was on videos yet they still allowed people to upload them. Also why haven’t they still taken down the numerous (most of Youtube?) videos that are blatent copyright infringements?

    2- Rumblefish. They recently signed up with Youtube to supply Youtube customers with music for their videos. Strange how the muting of videos comes after the new signing. However are people going to have to pay for Youtube music now?

    3- The RIAA. Money grabbing people. Having tracks on Youtube increases downloads and also increases peoples awareness to the artist. Yet, we are still stuck in the stone age with people running a company that should have been split up ages ago, or at least remodeled on a vastly changing world.

    Once this goes ahead, more sites will follow. So if you are an artist does that mean that you can’t have fans having your video on their site?

  • Guest

    This really doesnt address the fact that someones edited music + edited video + user commentary = a new product (fair use??? Freedom of speech??? Music reviews???). Eliminating users from sharing a video with copyrighted audio is silly, this isnt hurting sales. Why not mute the audio on the music played on the radio as well? Just because clever people can find a way to pirate a song off youtube doesnt mean that the masses are doing it. As the traditional media continues to flail in its battle against piracy it becomes more and more clear what they truly are; dinosaurs desperately trying to survive as the landscape changes and they are unable to adapt.

  • Guest

    I think that utube is a great way of introducing pepople to music that they may not usually listen to and therefore look for more music by that artist.
    All advertising is good advertising and most music lovers want a better sound than they would get from ripping utube video clips!

    • Guest

      I know right!!! the reason why I know of most music I listen to is because I’ve heard it on people’s videos on youtube. In the all mighty and greatful video descriptions, as long as you give the band and the record label company credit for their work and say “hey the song is by them, I payed for the song and I give full credit to them” and maybe even in the credits of the actual movie, i don’t see why it is so bad. Exactly what you said, it’s pretty much free advertising for them and it makes everyone happy.

  • alex

    One thing i dont get is that we are advertising the persons music and giving them more popularity. In other words were giving them cash.

  • Guest

    I agree with almost everyone here, it’s great publicity for the band, no offense to youtube but, the audio quality isn’t perfect, which is good in a way because its obviously faster streaming and decreases loading time, but also, the actual quality songs come from iTunes and CD’s you buy at the store. Most videos with songs usually have background NOISE aswell, which even if you somehow take the audio off of youtube video, you still have the NOISE in the background aswell. Most of the songs and bands I know of, half are what my friends show me, and the other half is what comes from youtube. I say “hey, id like this song in full quality, and on my ipod…lets go to iTunes/best buy/target or whatever and lets get the CD or song.” IF THAT SONG WASNT ON YOUTUBE HOW ELSE WOULD I HAVE KNOWN ABOUT IT TO BUY IT!?!? Almost every song in my iTunes purchases playlist I have found through youtube. That just proves that youtube helps bands bring in more money.

    one more thing, if I was in a band, and I found my music on someone video, and then I look in the description and I see that they gave my band credit for the song, I would be honored because I know I’ve got fans out there that would go as far as to make a video and single out our stuff and make of video and put the song on their video and share it to the world.

  • http://www.bestcasinowebsite.net/ website

    I wish Warner Music Group and YouTube would just work out their issues.

  • http://technomusicnews.com/ Dr Techno

    I’ve experienced situations where you tube blocks a video post with a tune one week and then the next week the same music on another video is allowed up without issue. IS this infringement spotting being don manually? If so is such a process sustainable for google/you tube in the long term?

  • Baker

    After downloaded it with IDM or keepvid, will it become unmute or not ??

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