The rumour mill

The rumour mill

Ah, rumours. Gotta love them.

A slightly panicked subscriber asked me if I knew anything about the latest plans to block American YouTube videos from Germany for copyright infringement. Well, I haven’t, and having poked around the net a bit, I still can’t find any reliable information about this.

The “news” was broken by German YouTuber HerrTutorial on his Twitter feed, although he also admits he doesn’t know for sure and has promised to try and find out.

I can’t imagine for the life of me that anything like that is planned, but I would be grateful if anyone happens to know where this rumour came from and could provide me with some source.

There are two sources of misinformation I can think of:

  1. YouTube has been in dispute with GEMA, the German collecting society, for the best part of a year now. Effectively, this means that YouTube is not able to broadcast any video containing music on GEMA’s register — effectively meaning most commercial music — in Germany, regardless of where it comes from. This is, however, nothing new, and isn’t a blanket ban on all videos, or even all videos from one country.
  2. User FlippyCat recently had problems with German users unable to see some of his videos. He has traced this to a new section on the revenue share form which partners have to fill in to “monetize” their videos. The new section, which is optional, allows them to enter details of any music used in the video, but if you do fill it in, the video appears to be automatically blocked from Germany, even if the music is not registered with GEMA. I’m guessing this is an automated process which assumes that if you are filling that part of the form in, you must be using commercial music.

Those are my best guesses, and if either of those is the source of the rumour, there is nothing to worry about. If you happen to know better, and have a reliable source, please let me know.

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