Sony is trying to claim my content on YouTube violates their copyright!

I opened my e-mail this evening and found this message waiting for me:

YouTube                                           help center | e-mail options | report spam

Dear BradleyF81,

Your video, Flexy Girls Performing on Orchard Road, may have content that is owned or licensed by Sony Music Entertainment.

No action is required on your part; however, if you are interested in learning how this affects your video, please visit the Content ID Matches section of your account for more information.

– The YouTube Team

© 2010 YouTube, LLC
901 Cherry Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066

I’ve heard a lot of stories about the music industry trying to claim that people’s home videos contain their copyrighted content for the most bizarre things, like bits of music played in the background, but I never expected it to happen to one of my videos.

Luckily, the video hasn’t actually been pulled.  It has, however, been blocked from playing in Germany, as I found out by following up on the second link, which by the way should direct you to your own YouTube account’s copyright info so you can see if any of your videos have been blocked.  Anyhow, when I clicked the link, this is what I saw:


I’ve watched it again just to be sure, but I can’t see that anything here belongs to Sony, other than the fact that it was recorded with a Sony camera, but that doesn’t transfer ownership to them.  Does the tinny Chinese music belong to Sony?  Maybe someone knows better than I do?  And if it does, does this video constitute ‘fair use’ under US Copyright Law?  Should I take the time to dispute it, or is their claim legit?

Here’s the video, of two girls doing an acrobatics performance on Orchard Road in Singapore: