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American McGee’s YouTube Copyright Strike Shows How Bad the System Still Is

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:19 PM
William Worrall
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:19 PM
  • YouTube has some pretty glaring issues with how their site deals with copyright claims.
  • Game developer American McGee has been claimed for content from his own game.
  • This just highlights how bad the situation has gotten.

YouTube is kind of a mess. The site is basically run by a combination of robots and outsourced workers. With recent ‘kids friendly content’ issues  adding to the mountain of issues with the platform, it’s a wonder anyone can make a living there. Even big names seem to be struggling these days.

It almost seems old hat, but there has been yet another copyright claim problem. American McGee, the famed developer of American McGee’s Alice, has been copyright claimed for playing his own game . YouTube certainly seems to be at a low point when the system is literally punishing copyright owners.

Illustrated Sound Music

This issue comes to use from Illustrated Sound Music, a company gaining a poor reputation on YouTube. McGee is the latest industry name to have been copyright claimed by the company. IGN and Youtuber SidAlpha have both had videos claimed as well as a large segment of YouTube’s gaming community .

Illustrated Sound appears to be using a very overzealous bot to automatically claim revenue on video game videos. The company claims that this was a mistake, but it seems all too likely that this was done on purpose as companies have a history of abusing YouTube’s copyright claims .

YouTube’s copyright system is famously easy to abuse for cash. Songs have literally been made about it, that’s how bad it is . Setting up a bot to claim revenue en mass is too easy, both for an individual and for a company. YouTube cannot let these issues stick around for yet another year.

YouTube - Illustrated Sound Responses
In general, Twitter wasn’t at all happy with the apology coming from Illustrated Sound. | Source: Twitter 

Alphabet Inc. Needs to Fix YouTube

YouTube has had several broken features for a long time now. While there certainly are ones that can’t be fixed , there are plenty that could be. How easy it is to claim copyright is one of them. The current system puts all of the power in the hands of huge companies, who have enough power already.

Reactions on Twitter to Illustrated Sound’s apology shows you that public perception is not on the company’s side. Even if you want to give them the benefit of the doubt, the system shouldn’t work in a way that this sort of thing is impossible. How many videos were claimed isn’t known, but some users have reported up to 40 of their videos being claimed .

With YouTube’s cringe-fest ‘YouTube Rewind’ just over the horizon, they will be looking towards the future. For them, that probably means thinking of how to maximize profits. For their content creators, it will mean wondering if they’ll be able to keep the revenue up to pay rent this year. And it’s all YouTube’s fault.