David Pakman hit with NBC News Content ID claim on YouTube video containing none of their footage

Yet another example of YouTube’s broken copyright system.


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YouTube’s broken copyright system is at it again. Political commentator David Pakman’s coverage of today’s impeachment hearing against President Trump was hit with a Content ID claim from NBC News, despite the video containing none of their footage.

The decision means that Pakman will now lose all ad revenue on the video and it will be paid to NBC News unless he can successfully appeal the claim.

Pakman said: “I used absolutely no footage from NBC News in my coverage.” The screenshot Pakman shared appears to show the Content ID claim being applied to footage of C-SPAN 2 – a non-profit which provides live coverage of proceedings in the US Senate. This footage is in the public domain and can be used without restriction or attribution.

Content ID is automated so it’s likely that the algorithm has mistakenly flagged NBC News as the copyright owner of this public domain footage. However, the incident is yet another example of this broken system causing frustration for creators.

This isn’t the first time Pakman has had issues with YouTube’s copyright system when covering political events. In August, when covering the 2020 Democratic presidential debates, he and other creators were hit with copyright claims from CNN. Pakman said at the time that the copyright claim from CNN put his YouTube channel in jeopardy and forced him to spend an entire day dealing with it.

And yesterday, Pakman said that his coverage of the first day of the impeachment hearing against President Trump, which also used public domain footage from C-SPAN, was hit with a copyright claim from CNN. Pakman added that CNN did eventually remove this claim but during the crucial hours after it was posted and interest in the impeachment inquiry was at a peak, the video was blocked on YouTube as a result of the claim.

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Tom Parker

Tom Parker is a head contributor for Reclaim The Net and provides news and analysis on how we can promote free speech, stop censorship, and protect our personal data online. [email protected]
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