This situation has had several adverse effects on our operations, the Filmmusic.io community, and our mutual work:
Loss of productive time: Addressing these issues has consumed much time and energy that could have been better spent on improving our platform and sourcing new music for you all to enjoy.
Reputation damage: As a provider of Creative Commons music, our success heavily relies on our reputation. YouTube's wrongful labeling of our website as a source of deceptive content casts an undeserved shadow over our credibility, which we understand could impact your trust in our services.
Users are coerced into copyright infringement: We recognize the profound implications this issue presents in terms of copyright compliance. Under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license, acknowledgment of the author and the inclusion of the license link is required for use. The forced removal of these links by YouTube not only undermines the principle of our service but also places users unwittingly in a position where they might be violating copyright rules. This adds an additional layer of distress to our users who are committed to creating within legal boundaries and respecting the work of musicians we host. It's crucial that YouTube corrects this misstep to protect the integrity of copyright adherence and the value of Creative Commons licensing.
Financial impact: The uncertainty created by YouTube's actions has led to a significant drop in the number of downloads and plays of our tracks. This, in turn, leads to a decrease in advertising revenue (~400-500%), which we rely on to keep our platform free and accessible to everyone. See the graphic here.
Loss of user trust: We know that you count on us to meet your needs for royalty-free music. The turmoil created by YouTube has left many users uncertain, and we have seen a concerning decrease in the download and playback numbers on our platform.
Under German law, making false allegations about a website being fraudulent can have several serious consequences, primarily grounded in defamation and business disparagement. Please note that the following provides only an overview of the relevant laws and possible consequences.
If you falsely accuse a website of being fraudulent, you might be found guilty of defamation, also known as "Üble Nachrede". Defamation is the act of spreading false information about someone that could harm their reputation. If convicted, the penalty can be imprisonment up to one year or a fine.
Even if the false allegations do not meet the criteria for defamation, they might still be considered an insult, or "Beleidigung", which carries similar penalties as defamation (imprisonment up to one year or a fine).
If your false claim harms the business of the website (for example, by scaring away potential customers or business partners), this could also be considered business disparagement ("Kreditgefährdung") according to the German Civil Code. If convicted, you could be held liable for any damages caused by the disparagement.
If the false allegations are made in a business context (for example, if you are a competitor of the website in question), you might also be found guilty of violating the Act Against Unfair Competition ("Gesetz gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb"). This could result in a fine, and you may also be liable for any damages caused.
In today's digital world, the use of algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI), and bots for content regulation has become a common practice. Tech giants like YouTube increasingly rely on these technologies to curb the spread of harmful or fraudulent content. However, while these technologies can be helpful in automating and facilitating content control, there's also a flip side: AI and bots aren't perfect, and their mistakes can have significant consequences for content creators.
An illustrative example is the recent experience of the website Filmmusic.io, which offers free Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 music. YouTube users who utilize this music for their videos and provide the necessary copyright and license information received emails informing them that their links were removed for allegedly containing fraudulent content. In a more notable case, a user's channel was even deleted for merely using the free music offered. Although YouTube later admitted the mistake and restored the channel, this incident starkly highlights the problem of error-prone automated content review.
AI and bots are only as good as the data they were trained on, and they're incapable of replacing human judgment or context awareness. They follow strict algorithms, and when a particular content hits their set rules, they execute the programmed action without considering possible mistakes or injustices. This can lead to false positives, where legitimate and law-abiding contents are mistakenly marked as fraudulent or harmful and removed.
For content creators, this is a tremendous burden. They invest time, effort, and resources into their work, only to see their contents arbitrarily removed or their channels deactivated. This can limit their reach, harm their reputation, and even affect their income, especially if they rely on platforms like YouTube to earn a living. Additionally, the lack of a transparent and efficient grievance process often results in these mistakes not being corrected promptly, further exacerbating the damage.
Delegating content control to AI and bots may be a viable solution for platforms dealing with an overwhelming amount of content, but it should not come at the expense of content creators. It's crucial that these technologies be improved to reduce errors, and that human oversight and intervention always remain an integral part of the process.
Furthermore, there must be clear and effective communication channels for content creators to voice concerns or complaints and challenge unfair treatment. Platforms should also be more transparent about their rules and how their algorithms work, to give content creators a fair chance to avoid violations and safely share their contents.
In a world where AI and bots play an increasingly large role, we must be aware that despite their advantages, they also have their limitations and faults. It's our collective responsibility to ensure they are used in a way that benefits everyone and doesn't unfairly disadvantage anyone. Given the rapid pace of technological advancements, this is a challenge we can't afford to ignore.
EMA Motorbiker has appealed with reference to this page and Youtube has admitted the mistake. In this case was one of the few who did not get an error displayed and could appeal.