“Cold Light” Music Video

Initially, our music video for our song ‘Cold Light’ was Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’ stretched to fit our song, with some large lyrical overlays. We released it, and within the same day it was flagged automatically by YouTube’s ContentID system, which all major companies register their audio and visual content in for automatic detection in others’ videos. Our video was taken down.

YouTube allows users to appeal ContentID-flagged rejected videos. We wrote up a letter justifying our video’s firm place within Fair Use guidelines, which was sent to the content owner, Sony Music Entertainment. SME rejected our appeal and permanently blocked the video.

Rather than give up, we decided to use this as a step in the creative process. We began to run tests on how far the visuals needed to be pushed in order to get past the ContentID sensor unnoticed and unscathed. Below are screenshots of our trials.

Ultimately, 4 of our 8 tests passed through the copyright-infringing detection script on YouTube. #7 was chosen as our final product. It is embedded at the top of this page.

We appreciate and embrace the devolved look that this top-down streamlined auto-enforcer has added to our video.

Context drives aesthetic. Thank you, major music labels, for collaborating with MAN-CAT in the creative process.