Music Industry

This is how insane music copyright claims have become: Totally. F**cked.

About ten days ago, the Geeks&Beats podcast I host with Michael Hainsworth received a takedown notice from Universal Music, alleging a copyright infringement (i.e. use of music without permission) in an episode.


We have received a complaint that the following content infringes the intellectual property rights of Internal from Universal Music Group in Worldwide . While this claim is under investigation, this content has been taken down. It read as follows.

Title:The Geeks & Beats Podcast

Feed URL:

Author: [email protected]

If the provider believes this is mistaken and that it has rights to provide this content, please contact the complaining party at [email protected], and notify me of the resolution.  

In addition, please reply to this email with (i) an explanation why the takedown is contested; (ii) the sentence, “I state under penalty of perjury that I have the necessary rights to post the content found at; and (iii) the relevant contact details of the provider. Note that non-fulfilment of any of the requirements in (i)-(iii) will be considered as an invalid contestation and treated as consent to the takedown. 

Please be advised Spotify has a policy to terminate, in appropriate circumstances, the accounts of repeat infringers.

If we do not hear from you within five (5) business days, we will assume that you consent to the takedown.

Thank you for your cooperation.   

Best Regards, Spotify Content Protection

As you can see, we have no idea what’s being contested. All we know is that Geeks&Beats has been kicked off Spotify. And not just for the mysterious offense. All 250+ episodes are gone. Wow.

Obviously, though, the sniffing algorithms found something and triggered the takedown. Try appealing to a robot.

Here’s another example of how Draconian these measures can be. This guy posted a video DEFENDING their copyright in the case of Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” suit. In the original video, he deconstructed the claim of copyright infringement by playing clips of “Dark Horse” and “Joyful Nose” by a Christian rapper named Flame. Naturally, this video, aimed at educating the public on matters of law and music theory required that he play bits of “Dark Horse.”

Once again, dude was DEFENDING Katy and Warner Music against these charges.

Well, guess what happened? Yep. He was issued a takedown order by some bot sniffing through YouTube looking for violations.

This is messed up. Really messed up. (Via Danny)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38420 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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