Last weak's Russian meteor explosion was captured in stunning detail by dashboard camera videos, but German YouTube viewers might not be able to see them. Ars Technica reports that background music in some of the highly popular videos runs afoul of copyright agreements, causing them to be blocked. Google's Content ID system automatically filters videos for music, then bulk-licenses songs so they can be included. But in Germany, the company has faced challenges from music industry group GEMA, which alleges it's using songs without licensing them. As part of a 2012 lawsuit, Google is required to filter copyrighted material in Germany, and negotiations with GEMA broke down in January. As a result, many videos — including the meteor one below — are marked as blocked because "GEMA has not granted the publishing rights thereto."
GEMA has previously lashed out at Google for what it calls "misleading" messages that imply it's refusing deals altogether, saying it has "always been willing to grant YouTube a license" for the right price. "These blocked content messages are still being used on a wide scale to negatively influence public and media opinion." But beyond the politics and cost of licensing, the uglier issue is that the music ("Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis, according to Content ID) is virtually inaudible. It's obviously not piracy in any meaningful sense, and it's not even used to set off the scene — it's just a natural consequence of capturing video at unexpected moments.