GoDigital Media Monetizing Royalty Free Music w/o Permission From Composers

pir100-2_BGPartners In Rhyme and many other royalty free music libraries have been having a lot of problems recently with a situation created by Audiosparx (a royalty free music library) and GoDigital Media Group (monetizes media used in youtube and elsewhere).

Sometime last year GoDigital offered Audiosparx the chance to join their Adshare program. The Adshare program utilizes YouTube’s Audio Match ID feature to monetize any video that has music that matches the audio in GoDigital’s database.

Audiosparx joined the program and submitted 15,000 royalty free music tracks to the GoDigital database. Again, these are royalty free music tracks and Audiosparx and GoDigital were wanting to earn “royalties” off of this music (I still don’t understand the logic behind this at all).

The main problem with this though is that this same music is also being distributed by many other royalty free music libraries throughout the internet and Audiosparx does not have an exclusive agreement with any of the composers involved so when Audiosparx does something with the content that is owned by these composers their actions end up effecting the business and reputations of other royalty free music companies.

So, in October, Partners In Rhyme and other music libraries started receiving customer complaints that videos that included legally purchased music were being tagged in their YouTube account as possibly containing copyrighted material owned by GoDigital Media. The videos would then be monetized by GoDigital with Adsense ads and the owner of the video would be denied the right to monetize the videos themselves with their own ads.

Partners In Rhyme had to hire lawyers and send a registered letter simply to find out what was going on but we were finally told that Audiosparx had submitted this music into the GoDigital database.

We checked with our composers who also had material in the Audiosparx library and they had never heard of GoDigital and had no idea their music had been placed into this system and they confirmed that they had not given expressed permission to have their music placed in the GoDigital system.
We made GoDigital and Audiosparx aware of the mistake they had made and Audiosparx apologized and withdrew from the Adshare program.

GoDigital however still has much of the content in their system and is still earning revenue off of content that they have no permission to have in their database.

They say they are trying to remove the content but it is somehow YouTube’s fault now and they are not able to delete the content from their end for some reason.

I am simply posting this explanation so our customers are aware that the problem is being dealt with and to contact Partners In Rhyme (or any other music library that you have purchased royalty free music from) to get GoDigital’s false ownership notices removed from your YouTube videos should they appear.

  • Richard van den Boogaard

    The whole point of going the Royalty Free route over choosing material that is represented by any of the majors or rights organisations, is to prevend AdSense from kicking in on YouTube productions.

    I create promotional/event videos for a lot of brands and the last thing they need is to have their competitor advertise on top of / around their videos. Is PIR/Musicloops.com going to mark the tracks that have been ‘compromised’ through GoDigital?

    • http://twitter.com/partnersinrhyme Mark Lewis

      Hi Richard-
      Since this article was posted we took a zero tolerance stance on music that was compromised by the actions of GoDigital and blocked any compromised catalogs from being distributed on our websites.
      The composers of course took this very seriously and took action themselves against GoDigital and the libraries that had submitted their music without their permission.
      It seems to have worked as, at this time of writing, the catalogs of all of our composers are clear of any claims from GoDigital when used on Youtube.

      If you have any further questions regarding this just let me know.
      Mark Lewis
      Partners In Rhyme

    • Bjorn

      Hi Richard. You should keep in mind that if your brands don’t want their competitors advertisements on top / around their videos, then they really shouldn’t use YouTube at all for their videos. Once you upload a video to YouTube, YouTube can, and will, do absolutely anything they want with that video. They can add advertisements to it, they can distribute it as they want, they can sell it, etc — even if the music hasn’t caused them to do this. At this moment, it may be that YouTube only puts advertisements on videos where the music is AdSense, but it’s only a matter of time before they start putting advertising on other videos too. Basically, if you are using YouTube’s free video sharing service, always expect YouTube to add advertising to the videos – regardless of the music used in that video.

      Bjorn Lynne

  • http://www.shockwave-sound.com/ Bjorn Lynne

    Mark, thank you for posting this so customers can get some idea of what’s going on. I know that our customers are keen on doing the right thing, getting the right license, behaving correctly and honorably towards composers and copyright owners. To have done all that, and then to be told that their video contains material (and I quote) “owned by GoDigital” is clearly very disturbing.

    I will post a blog entry on my own site as well. It’s important that our customers are made to understand that the music IS legally licensed to them, despite GoDigital’s claims.

  • http://www.premiumbeat.com/ Gilles Arbour

    Thanks Mark – It is very useful to know the origin of this bizarre problem. We had few clients who had to deal with this issue. In our our case it only happens with the Classical Music since all our other music is exclusive to our library. But what I find “curioser and curioser” is the complaint from Youtube mentioned the music track did belong to Sony!! I had no idea Beethoven and Mozart had an exclusivity contract with Sony! :-) Anyway thank you for your efforts in resolving this problem.