RadioWaves

First, one has to wonder why someone would upload to YouTube a file of 10 hours of white noise, also called static.

Second, who would file a copyright claim over it?

But four different interests have done exactly that, including one party who claimed the copyright twice.

Details come from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which maintains a “Takedown Hall of Shame” list.

The list features procedures by social media companies to arbitrate disputes over copyright material.

The file is online and already has more than 71,000 views.

EFF explained that Sebastian Tomczak runs a blog on technology and sound. And he has a YouTube channel.

“In 2015, Tomczak uploaded a 10-hour video of white noise. Colloquially, white noise is persistent background noise that can be soothing or that you don’t even notice after a while. More technically, white noise is many frequencies played at equal intensity. In Tomczak’s video, that amounted to ten hours of, basically, static.”

But then YouTube’s Content ID system, set up to alert about potential copyright issues, triggered a series of copyright claims over the static.

“Five different claims were filed on sound that Tomczak created himself. Although the claimants didn’t force Tomczak’s video to be taken down they all opted to monetize it instead. In other words, ads on the 10-hour video would now generate revenue for those claiming copyright on the static,” EFF said.

Tomczak noticed, complained, and cooler headers prevailed, with Google just dropping the claims.

“YouTube’s Content ID system works by having people upload their content into a database maintained by YouTube. New uploads are compared to what’s in the database and when the algorithm detects a match, copyright holders are informed. They can then make a claim, forcing it to be taken down, or they can simply opt to make money from ads put on the video,” EFF reported.

What happened is that “an automated filter matched part of ten hours of white noise to, in one case, two different other white noise videos owned by the same company and resulted in Tomczak getting copyright notices,” it said.

 

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