By masquerading as legitimate music rightsholders, two men managed to extract over $23 million in revenue from YouTube’s Content ID system. Both were arrested and pleaded guilty. The first defendant was previously sentenced to 70 months in prison. The second defendant, who reportedly initiated the scheme, now requests a lower 46-month term, promising to stay out of trouble.
In 2021, the US Department of Justice launched a criminal proceeding against two men suspected of running a massive YouTube Content ID scam.
By falsely claiming to own the rights to more than 50,000 songs, the pair generated more than $23 million in revenue.
Last year, the first defendant confessed to his part in the copyright swindle by pleading guilty. Webster Fernandez admitted it was a simple scheme: find Latin American music that wasn’t yet monetized on YouTube and claim the content as their own.
In February of this year, the second defendant pleaded guilty. Jose Teran signed a…