Parting Thoughts

Amanda’s Skating Triumph — and Interesting YouTube Behavior

Posted 9 April 2009

Last Sunday, Amanda won first place in her group at the skating competition in Vacaville! Here’s the video—and below, some notes about copyright and YouTube.

It was an awesome performance, and I’m so proud of her.

Now, the YouTube bit: the song playing in the background is Witch Doctor by Alvin and the Chipmunks. When I uploaded the video to YouTube, it recognized the song (I did include Alvin in the title but didn’t identify the song), and sent me the following email:

Your video, Amanda’s Alvin and the Chipmunks ice skating routine, may have content that is owned or licensed by Razor & Tie.

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.

And when the video plays on YouTube, there’s an advertisement banner at the bottom, with links to buy the song from iTunes or (Curiously, the ad does not appear on the embedded video above.) It’s sort of annoying, but compared with banning the video because it contains copyrighted content, it’s a great solution.

A question for the copyright experts out there: I assume the skating rink must have the right to use the music in the performance. Does this right not transfer to videos made of the performance? Of course, arguing this with Google would probably be futile, regardless of what’s true, unless one was willing to put a great deal of energy into it.