Rumblefish and ‘False’ Copyright Claims on YouTube ~ An Open Letter

Despite having disputed their actions, the music licensing company Rumblefish has stubbornly been claiming the copyright to some of our songs uploaded on YouTube. Hopefully this very annoying problem will soon be resolved. Here is our email to YouTube’s copyright department.

If you have made similar experiences, please share! Feel also free to use fragments of the email if you would like to contact YouTube with a similar issue.


Dear YouTube –

We are a Los Angeles based jazz label and are uploading our music for promotional purposes to YouTube. We are also very interested in monetizing our videos though placed ads.

However, in three cases (and probably more in the future) this hasn’t been possible. The copyright claims to our own music, for which we possess ALL content rights (writing and publishing), have been disputed by the music licensing company Rumblefish.

We understand that Rumblefish has collaborated with CD Baby (our distributor for CD sales). BUT not only do they NOT possess ANY rights to our music but also, we have never received any “royalties” or licensing payments from them despite over 5000 views on one of the videos.

In a few cases the monetization has been “allowed”. But the following videos are still affected by these legally false claims:

Frances Livings: Gold & Frankincense (the monetizing option is still under review but has been pending for weeks).

Greg Poree: Traveler rejection states “Rumblefish Dispute rejected, claim has been reinstated”)

4UrbanArtists: Come Closer“Rumblefish Dispute rejected, claim has been reinstated”)

I am sure that other independent artists who are selling their products through the distributor CD Baby are suffering from the same problems and are similarly frustrated. Please help us to resolve this.


With kind regards
Frances @ Moontraxx

You can visit company website:


Update, August 20, 2012  11:12 am

We just received three email regarding all three individual songs stating:

YouTube help center | e-mail options | report spam
Dear MoontraxxRecords,rumblefish has released its copyright claim on your video, “4UrbanArtists “Come Closer” from the album Sticky Traxx“. For more information, please visit your Copyright NoticepageSincerely,
– The YouTube Team



Update, August 20, 2012  12:52 pm

In the spirit of Trader Joe’s, sometimes it’s better to cut out the middleman…

I just received a phone call from CD Baby, offering to explain the situation and suggesting to opt out of the Rumblefish programme when distributing through CD Baby, to avoid our artists’ own music videos from being blocked from monetization. I however, think it’s worth staying with Rumblefish for other licensing purposes. Although we haven’t seen any payments yet (similar to Spotify but that’s a whole other story).

The vocabulary used on both sides is awkward: “Copyright claims” are to be taken very seriously regarding one’s music. That’s when every artist should see a red flag. So perhaps that is something both Rumblefish and YouTube need to change for the future.

As both a label owner and artist I think is was very much worth emailing YouTube to dispute the claim. Even if it didn’t have anything to do with Rumblefish really claiming the copyright, it is still a legal and moral matter of not giving another company the rights to block a certain process one chooses to participate in (in this case, in the placement of ads).

In the spirit of Trader Joe’s; sometimes it’s best to cut out the middleman… I would therefore like to inspire other artists to not get confused and give up on these sometimes complicated matters but to stand up for what they think is also morally right.

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  1. My problem with Rumblefish/CD Baby is a little different from your. They flagged a single sountrack that I purchased from them 40 times and continue to flag it. Yes 40 time for the same sound track! I average about 1000 views per month and am unable to monetize my YouTube video’s. They do and sometimes don’t remove their claim for 2, 3 or more weeks.


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