Toronto's Diamond Rings Have Video Removed by YouTube After Sony/BMG Claims Copyright Infringement

Toronto's Diamond Rings Have Video Removed by YouTube After Sony/BMG Claims Copyright Infringement
Here we go again with this whole digital David vs. Goliath story, and this time it's video content that's under dispute.

Toronto, ON electro pop artist Diamond Rings (aka John O'Regan) was notified on Wednesday morning (December 9) that his popular video for "All Yr Songs" was removed from YouTube by request of Sony/BMG on the grounds that it infringed on the major label's copyright.

As we told you, many independent bands who own copyrights of their music have been battling MySpace over similar disputes, often linked to some vague connection to distribution channels the bands are rarely aware of, and indie artists are not immune to this annoying and frustrating phenomenon in the video world.

Earlier this week, a new video service spearheaded by all of the major labels, except Warner, was launched and many are speculating that the copyright "fingerprinting" used by the YouTube video service, called Vevo, could result in a smattering of incidents such as Diamond Rings' current battle.

On his MySpace blog, O'Regan posted, "[We weren't] consulted by either Sony/BMG or YouTube before the video was removed and we therefore are unclear as to whom or what we are infringing upon... Hopefully this is all just a big misunderstanding and Sony/BMG will call us up tomorrow and offer the both of us a whole bunch of autographed Beyonce or Modest Mouse albums for our troubles. All I can say is that in the meantime, I'm totally throwing out my Sony Sports Walkman."

Early this morning (December 11), O'Regan then gave an update on situation, saying the "All Yr Songs" is finally back on YouTube, though he still has some questions.

The MySpace post reads:

First off, thanks to everyone who has shown such sincere and impassioned support for both Colin and in response to our recent music video saga. It means so much to both of us to know that you've got our back!

The good news (sort of) is that the music video for "All Yr Songs" is now back up and running on YouTube.  However, we still haven't received anything in the way of official word from either Sony BMG or YouTube, which means we still don't know (and may never know) why exactly it was removed in the first place.

Either way, it's a bit spooky to realize how much power these international conglomerates can wield out there on the Wild World Wide Web. That's quadruple-double-you-dot if we're keeping score, BTW.  But seriously, for something like our homemade video project to get snatched out of thin air, what's next?  Protect ya necks, kids!  Stay vigilant! If we hadn't had such great support from each and every one of you, who knows how long it might have taken to get our work back online. So thank you again.

Anyhow, we're doing our best to get some information (or maybe an apology in the form of those signed Beyonce vinyls we were talking about earlier) out of Sony/BMG, and you'll all be the first to know once we hear anything.

Until then, stay safe and enjoy the falling snow.


Thanks to fellow Exclaim! writer Vish Khanna for the tip. 

UPDATE: In an email to Exclaim!, a Sony spokesperson has shed more light on why the video was removed, explaining, "In the process of removing unauthorized copies of Sony Music videos through YouTube's Content Verification Program, an error was made by an affiliate Sony Music office outside of Canada. The YouTube program indicated a correlation with Sony Music artist Chipmunk's 'Diamond Rings' song and the video was flagged. This was a pure and simple case of human error."