DragonForce Hit With Copyright Strike On Their Own Song

Photo via DragonForce by Travis Shinn
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Follow any streamer or online content creator, and you’ll learn how prevalent “copyright” strikes are.

For example: a video game streamer is playing through something like Tony Hawk Pro Skater. When one of the game’s officially licensed songs comes up, like Goldfinger’s “Superman,” the streamer could lose monetization to their video.

Typically, this only really happens video games creators and other Twitch users. However, power metal band Dragonforce was unfortunately the target of a copyright strike. Most bizarrely, it was on their own music.

This all went down last week (Aug 17) as DragonForce tagged several YouTube accounts about what had happened on X (formerly Twitter). Guitarist Herman Li wrote,

“Here is an insane copyright strike against @DragonForce for the Valley of the Damned song! @youtubemusic @YouTubeCreators @youtube is now letting random accounts claim music online?”

Apparently, somebody outside of the band had copyright claimed Dragonforce’s song “Valley of the Damned” off of their album of the same title.

Team YouTube’s response indicates that they “strongly address misuse of our copyright tools and act decisively against any abuse.” The account also guided the band to a page detailing their options concerning the upcoming video removal. Moreover, DragonForce was advised to remove their initial tweet due to the inclusion of “personal information.”

Three more days passed without a solution, and DragonForce once more urged YouTube’s team to revisit the copyright strike and the impending video removal from the band’s channel. They highlighted that they’d dispatched legal letters but hadn’t been given a rationale for why the ownership was granted to a third-party channel named Gary George.

In response, Team YouTube provided another statement, emphasizing their commitment to these matters and guided DragonForce to a platform where they could file a counter-claim to regain ownership of their song and video.

An exasperated Li remarked, “This song has content ID tags everywhere, from which you garner ad revenue for the copyright proprietors and publishing managers. How can your system permit such misuse on the recognized official music channel of YouTube?”

Team YouTube then provided another update, admitting the takedown notice for “Valley of the Damned” was “erroneous” and thus, it was retracted. Consequently, the copyright strike against DragonForce’s YouTube channel was lifted. “Thank you for highlighting this issue and your patience as we addressed it,” Team YouTube commented, three days post their initial reaction to the public alert regarding the incorrect copyright strike and removal notice, favoring a personal account over the band’s primary channel.

It’s a shame how broken YouTube’s system of copyright strikes are, and how bands can get taken for a ride even on their own work. Thankfully, things seemed to be back to normal for DragonForce, but it’s likely this won’t be the last time something like this happens.

See the full order of events below via X (formerly Twitter. We really hate saying that.)