By pretending to be legitimate music rightsholders, two men managed to extract over $23 million in revenue from YouTube’s content-ID system. Both were arrested, pleaded guilty, and now face multi-year prison terms. This week, the U.S. requested a 70-month sentence against the ‘number two’ of the operation, in part to deter future fraud.
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, one of the defendants confessed to his part in the copyright swindle by pleading guilty. Webster Batista 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 plea agreement…