Live streaming your show? Careful, YouTube IS watching!

This blog post is a cautionary tale about the technological capabilities of Big Brother. Here goes…

Back on April 15, 2014, I set up my video equipment at a local venue as a favor to my friend Art because it was his big night… his debut CD release show. I had mentioned to him a few weeks back that I had the capability to live stream on YouTube so he asked me to do so for him. All was well for most of the night, until the band sang Happy Birthday To You to someone who came out to see the show. About half way through their rendition, a message popped up on my laptop screen in a red banner stating something to the effect that “ContentID” identified that they were performing a song they didn’t have a right to perform and if the performance didn’t cease immediately, the stream would be terminated. YouTube didn’t even give me a chance to let them know they were in violation. Almost immediately after that message popped up, I got another message stating that the stream had been terminated.

YouTube Content Match Part 01

YouTube Content Match Part 01

Now I am not saying that I think it’s OK to live stream a show chock full of cover tunes. I understand that content owners deserves to get paid but I thought it was a little crazy that (1) YouTube made such a big deal about Happy Birthday and (2) it happened way too quickly for them to give me a chance to get the band to stop that performance.

All in all, things seem to be OK for me, for now anyway. As you can see from the screen captures below, I basically just got a slap on the wrist.

YouTube Content Match Part 02

YouTube Content Match Part 02

YouTube Content Match 04

YouTube Content Match 04

I give YouTube credit for linking to an explanation, that even if you have permission to perform a song, your stream can still be shut down because of a ContentID match. Some of the hoops one has to jump through seem silly and arbitrary to me but I guess they’re just looking out for their best interests.

YouTube Content Match Part 03

YouTube Content Match Part 03

I have seen some YouTube channels chock full of cover videos without any problems and I have seen others get a slap on the wrist or a take down notice. After that, they’re usually in the YouTube cross-hairs until they finally give up and either completely kill their YouTube channel and/or sign up with a new email address and rename it.

My advice to anyone who wants to live stream their show on YouTube, make sure you give the camera operator a copy of your setlist so that s/he can take the appropriate action (like pull the volume slider down to ZERO) if you do plan to perform something that you either don’t have permission to live stream or if you’re concerned that it might get you into hot water with YouTube.

2 thoughts on “Live streaming your show? Careful, YouTube IS watching!

  1. Well written, Allen! Good advice, too … a bonus. And you even gave a shout out to yours truly.
    Keep rockin’, bluesimn’ and countryin’
    Art the dude



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