YouTube has claimed a calming cat video was a copyright infringement, TorrentFreak reports. The footage in question is an hour-long video of a cat called Phantom purring softly. YouTube said that the footage was flaggedup by its Content ID system, which scans uploads against a database of files submitted by content owners.
YouTube issued something called a “Content ID claim” against the cat footage. The video was uploaded by YouTube user Digihaven last year. Although it has only amassed around 2,594 views — very low in cat video terms. But TorrentFreak reported on Thursday that EMI Publishing and PRS claimed to own the rights to a 12-second loop of Phantom purring.
YouTube’s automated take-down tool, which is said to have now paid out more than $US1 billion to rights holders, detected the alleged copyright infringement and informed Digihaven that his video was now pirate purring.
YouTube told Digihaven that part of the Phantom cat film is now featured in a musical composition called “Focus,” which is copyrighted by EMI and PRS.
But TorrentFreak writes that the claim is false and is a YouTube error. As it stands now, the video hasn’t been fully removed, but Digihaven has been unable to earn money through the footage as a result. The user told the site that he’s sure “EMI/PRS made Phantom a sad kitty” and added that it seems that the companies involved are “pirating ads on people’s legit videos.”
Digihaven filed a dispute with YouTube. It proved successful and EMI lifted its claim soon. However, he still wants to flag up the ongoing issue of YouTube’s automated copyright detection — which has proved problematic before.
Way back in 2008, soon after the content identification system was first installed, media execs told CNET that it wasn’t working out. YouTube at the time said it had seen “terrific results” early on. Yet, seven years later, people are still finding their videos flagged up, seemingly in error.