If this recent instance is to be taken into consideration, it appears that Sony Music Entertainment, Inc., (SME) does not follow the saying “You can’t have your cake and eat it too”; confused? It seems that one Mr. Mitch Martinez entered into a license agreement with Epic Records, a division of SME. Through this agreement, Epic Records was allowed to use a stock footage i.e. a video which can be used by others in their films or movies, in one of its artist’s video. However, soon after he received a YouTube notification, informing him that SME had issued copyright claim for his footage which he had uploaded on his YouTube account.
Even after following the routine procedure i.e. countering the copyright claim and explaining that the content in dispute was licensed by him to Epic records, the copyright claim was not withdrawn. In fact a few days after filing the counter claim, he was astounded to see a status update whereby SME confirmed their claim. Martinez tried to contact the person to whom he had issued the license, but to no avail.
When his explanations and clarifications fell on deaf ears, Martinez then filed a separate copyright claim against their video. Further, he also filled a feedback form on the SME’s website; he was soon contacted by a person from the legal department to whom he explained the whole situation, including the fact that he had uploaded the footage on his YouTube account two years prior to the execution of license agreement.
This is not the first time when big enterprises have cried foul over copyright infringement. Over the years there have been numerous instances where enterprises’ have tried to twist the arms of small businesses and entrepreneurs alike, pressurizing them to yield to their copyright claims. While it is extremely important that one should be vigilant of his/her intellectual property rights, care must be taken so as to avoid interference with the rights of others.
[i] Mitch Martinez, Sony Filed a Copyright Claim Against the Stock Video I Licensed to Them, Available at: http://petapixel.com/2015/10/25/sony-filed-a-copyright-claim-against-the-stock-video-i-licensed-to-them/