Recently, Nintendo pleased YouTubers by changing their policy of monetizing videos that use their music. So now you can stream games like Super Mario Land again! Right? Wrong. Scammers are using the YouTube Content ID system to take control of your favorite content creators’ gaming videos.
Believe Music UK has a long-time scam running where they upload stock video game music for copyright protection, calling it “remixes” or music by “DJ Mario”, etc. In turn, the YouTube Content ID system immediately gives Believe Music UK monetization rights of any streams or videos where “their” music is identified.
I recently streamed Super Mario Land and instantly got hit by a copyright claim, not from Nintendo, but from “M.C. Mario” whose name alone should probably get Believe in very, very big trouble, especially since he’s profiting off of their most sacred Intellectual Property. Nintendo generally does not take such nonsense lightly, and this is an almost certainly illegal, large-scale profit grab of Nintendo’s IP.
All of this led me to investigate Believe Music UK. It’s no secret that thousands of other YouTubers are hit by their scam every day, and there are a host of other “companies” pulling the same scam. It’s hard enough to do anything on YouTube as a small channel, and this really stings. It didn’t bother me when Nintendo monetized my videos, since it was their music IP after all, but I spend a full day preparing for my weekly streams to make sure things go smoothly and now some scam company is profiting from my videos. Worse, there is no recourse in YouTube’s dispute system. You essentially have two options: legally attest that the music is Creative Commons, or you are the legal owner (neither of which applies to VGM). There is no dispute option for “this is not the music you claim” or “claimant is not the legal owner”. A failed dispute results in a full copyright strike, three of which ends a channel permanently, so few would risk disputing the claim.
Here is the copyright notice I received from the scammers through YouTube: