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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hullaballoo over Universal Music Group (UMG) copyright claim on my music

Hi all! A few days ago I wrote a note on my Facebook page about my frustrations over a copyright claim on my music track, by Universal Music Group. I was angry with UMG that they took my music track (as incorporated as background music in their audio-book release) and wrongfully put that music into YouTube Content-ID for their monetization, but most of all because when I disputed the claim and explained the situation, they rejected my dispute and upheld their claim. I was upset, and I wrote a bit of an angry rant on my Facebook page.

By the way, here is the music track in question: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BISlp85Njts ("Kingdom of the Persians").

The fact that my Facebook rant "went viral" was a complete surprise to me. I usually get like 15 likes when I post something :-), so I was unprepared for the deluge of shares and comments, and completely surprised that my case made the front page of Digital Music News, Torrentfreak and other popular websites. I was offered help, money and crowdfunding by people who wanted to help me get a good lawyer, and I was contacted by volunteer / non-profit lawyers offering their help and support. Wow! All this support was of course much appreciated, albeit a little bit overwhelming. My "case" was on the front page of several popular websites and was the basis of discussion forum threads with hundreds of replies (none of which I took part in).

The issue is now resolved and I have to move on. I've got a lot of work to do. For reference, here is my original Facebook post:
Can I just state publicly that I hate Universal Music Group (UMG). For the second time now, they have hijacked my music and claimed ownership of it in all YouTube videos that include my music, thereby monetizing my music.

UMG, or somebody who produces content for them, have apparently picked up my music track "Kingdom of the Persians" as stock music / library music and used it as background music for an audio book. They have then released the audio-book on CD (fair enough, if they have paid the license fee), but they have also put the audio-book into YouTube's Content-ID system, which creates a digital audio "fingerprint" of the music, and then proceeds to sniff out any YouTube videos that contain this audio, for the YouTube system to then send a "Copyright notice" to the Youtube video uploader, telling him that his video "contains music owned by UMG", and then put advertising on the video, for which money is paid to UMG.

One thing would have been to have done this unwittingly, by mistake. But I have "disputed" the claim on YouTube, written an explanation and told them about the origins of this music -- then waited the FULL 30 DAYS that the claimant has to process the dispute, only to be told that UMG have reviewed the dispute and UPHELD their claim!

The only reasonable thing to do here, for me, would be to hire a top lawyer to go after them legally. But realistically, it's like $350 per hour for a lawyer and a 3 hour minimum for a case, so I'm looking at over $1,000 just to get something started. I feel powerless and I'm left to watch my music being raped by a media giant, who sits behind closed curtains, ignores the rightful owner of the music and just goes "Nah, we'll take it anyway". Screw you, Universal Music Group!

This is the second time they're doing this with my music as well. They did the same thing also with my other track, "The Desert Nomads".
And here is the follow-up I posted a few days later, when the issue had been resolved:

Hi all. As an update to this situation, I am happy to say that the Universal Music Group claim on my video has now been released.

I have not had any communication with/from UMG, but what seems to have done the trick is that I used the "appeal" process at YouTube after I was told that my original dispute had been rejected by UMG. Going through the "appeal" at YouTube is a pretty scary process, because YouTube uses some very strong language to warn you that you may face legal action and/or your YouTube account may be shut down. I did it nevertheless, I was that hell bent on getting UMG to stop monetizing my music and claiming ownership of it.

After a couple of days, I received notification from YouTube that the UMG claim against my video had been released. I think that the "appeal" process is the only thing that UMG takes seriously, because the way it works is that, if they still want to uphold their claim on the music, they have to issue a legal DMCA takedown notice and provide legal argumentation as to why they own the rights to that video/music. Obviously they could not do that, because the music was composed by me, and it was very easy for me to prove that. So it appears that, when they saw the appeal, they released their claim.

I'm still angry with UMG over their handling of this. First of all, they used non-exclusive stock music (which in this case happened to be composed by me) in a product and then entered that product into Content-ID at YouTube. This is explicitly against YouTube's Content-ID policy, which clearly states that in order to use Content-ID, you must fully own the content exclusively. Which they didn't. Admittedly, anybody can make a mistake like that, and I wouldn't have made a noise about it, if they had then released their claim when I disputed it and explained the situation. But they didn't. They waited the FULL 30 days that they are allowed in which to respond, and then they upheld their claim. That's when I got angry.

I don't know if UMG ever even looked at the dispute. Quite possibly, it is their policy to always allow the full 30 days to pass, and then uphold their claim, no matter what, knowing full well that the "appeal" process is so scary. In my opinion, this is speculative and legally questionable. Right now, they are probably monetizing hundreds of thousands of videos that contain audio that doesn't belong to them at all, deliberately and knowingly. It's the second time they've done this exact thing with my music (first, with my track "The Desert Nomads" and then with "Kingdom of the Persians"). And, as one guy commented on this thread, these are the same guys crying so loudly about people copying their music.

Thanks for all your comments, shares and support in this matter! Much appreciated!

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Two Christmas albums produced by Bjørn Lynne

Dear friends,


Now that Christmas is here, I wanted to give you guys a couple of tips if you wanted to put some traditional Christmas music into your homes. Here are two Christmas albums that I've produced. Perhaps many of you didn't know that I'd been involved with making Christmas albums :-). On these two albums I was the arranger, producer, and played some of the instruments. Other instruments were played by guest musicians and the various vocalists were hired for the job, so to speak. So here they are:

Lynne Music Project: "Favorite Christmas Songs":
SpotifyiTunes / Amazon / Deezer
License the music for commercial or in-public use: Shockwave-Sound

Lynne Music Project: "Favorite Christmas Instrumentals":
Spotify / iTunes / Amazon / Deezer
License the music for commercial or in-public use: Shockwave-Sound

Merry Christmas!

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Original Amiga Works and Early Game Soundtracks

Hi all,

Over the past few weeks I have been working on gathering, collating, cleaning up and sorting my old Amiga music from 1988-1995 approx. It has resulted in two album releases:

The "Original Amiga Works" album contains 105 different tracks that I composed using only an Amiga computer and various "tracker" software like Soundtracker, Noisetracker, Protracker, OctaMED and JamCracker back in about 1988-1993. The sound is untouched, exactly as output from the Amiga. I considered maybe fixing up the sound a bit, maybe make the left/right channels less extreme panned, applying some mastering, EQ etc. But after thinking about it, I decided in the end to keep them exactly as they were originally. I wanted the listening experience to be exactly as we remember it. This is a digital-only album, so no actual physical CD's are made, but it's divided into 5 "CD's" anyway, so it's a 5-CD album containing 100 tracks. It's really 105 tracks, but the maximum allowed number of tracks on one album was 100, so I had to join some tracks together into one sound file, in order to get the 105 tracks reduced to 100. The album, or its individual tracks, can be purchased and downloaded from CDBaby, iTunes, Amazon or other similar digital music services, or it can be streamed at Spotify, XBox Music, Google Play Music, Wimp and other streaming services. I hope you enjoy. Click here for a full track listing.

The "Early Game Soundtracks" album contains 3 virtual CD's and a total of 81 tracks. It contains some of the original video game soundtracks that I made for Amiga games and some early PC games, back in about 1988-1995. Some of this music (I guess most of it) was also made using only the Amiga and the 4 channels of digital sound, although some additional tracks were made with MIDI and synth sounds. Games include Qwak, Spinjam, Brat, Siege of Avalon, Bomberman, Cubulus, Shanghai and many more.
This album, or its individual tracks, is also available for purchase and download from CDBaby, iTunes, Amazon or other similar digital music services, or it can be streamed at Spotify, XBox Music, Google Play Music, Wimp and other streaming services. Click here for a full track listing.

It was fun to gather, clean up and release these old tracks and I guess they kind of serve as a "document" to the music I made using the Amiga computer back in the good old late 80's and early 90's.

I did also create several dozens more tracks on the Amiga, which are not represented on either of these two albums. But I had to be a bit careful when selecting the tracks to release, because in my old Amiga music days I made quite a lot of cover tracks, like "Mama" by Genesis, "New World Man" by Rush and many, many others. I tried my best to get those tracks to sound as good as I could using only 4 channels of 8-bit audio. Quite the challenge! But fun. :-) Obviously, for reasons of copyright, I could not include those cover versions / sound-alikes on these two albums for commercial release.

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

At long last an update, with new album release

Hi all,

Wow, I can't believe it's been that long since I last posted anything on this blog. I'm sorry about that. I'm still alive, and well. I haven't been hiding in a cave either. :-)

Over the last couple of years I have been very busy with main two things... (1) Running my music company, Lynne Publishing, and the stock music label Shockwave-Sound.com, and (2) Playing tennis and being active in my local tennis club as both the team captain of the veteran's tennis players team, a member of the board of directors of the club, an assistant coach and an arranger/organizer of events, tournaments, series etc. The photo on the right shows me on the tennis court earlier this year.


Those are the two things that take up nearly all of my time these days, and I'm really enjoying it. The music company is going well; I have about 350 composers from all over the world who have their music sold and licensed via my company.

Bjorn Lynne "Traveller"
I released a new album of my own personal music also, a couple of months ago. The album is called "Traveller", and it was my first digital only release, meaning that the album is released only as a downloadable album, and no actual physical CD's were made.
For this album I tried not to make it very "epic" or difficult. It has been a problem for me in the past that I've made some very big projects, and the next time I sat down to write music, I felt there was a huge mountain in front of me because I had to "surpass" my previous release, to make it even bigger, even more epic, even more impressive. So I decided to try to drop that feeling, and instead go back to basics and just create some nice, chilled-out tunes with an ethnic / world / fantasy kind of feel. I also deliberately wanted to make it a fairly short album, not one of those huge 79-minute epics. :-). Anyway, I hope you like how it turned out.

I will try to write another blog post already tomorrow, about some new releases of old music that I composed on the Commodore Amiga computer already back in 1988-1995. More about that tomorrow.

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bjorn Lynne music appearing in thousands of productions - what's up with that?


Today I received an email from Assad, who had come across my music in a game called SolarMax (I've never even heard of this game before, but that's not unusual) and he had done a little bit of research and found that the same music tracks were up for sale / licensing via the royalty-free music website Shockwave-Sound.com for only $30. So he was wondering - is this really the case? Can people really take my music and put it in their game... and pay only $30??

I wrote him an answer and I thought I'd share it here, since I'm often asked about this.

Hi Assad,
It's true, it is possible to legally license my music, for use in games and other commercial products, for prices starting from only $30. I have made my living on this for many years now. For the last 12 years I have made myself a good income with this business model. Actually, prices start from $30 but if you want to use the music for “bigger” projects, you have to buy the Mass Market License, which costs 2.5 x the amount of the Standard License. So if you see $30, that means the Standard License costs $30 and the Mass Market License costs $30 x 2.5 = $75.
SolarMax - Just one of thousands of
games and apps with Bjorn Lynne music

I own and manage Shockwave-Sound.com and we are working with about 300 composers who have their music sold via this site. We sell many, many licenses each day. After 12 years of having my music licensed like this, I have got my music used in maybe over 50,000 different projects (films, games, commercials, web sites, YouTube videos, installation, trade show / corporate videos, etc. etc.). Most of them, I don’t even know about. Sometimes I surprisingly come across my own music in some video game, iPhone / Android App, etc.

It may sound like $30 is a very small price to license music, but remember, it’s the same music that gets licensed by several hundred other customers, so this customer is not getting unique music. He/she only gets to use the music that potentially hundreds of other people are also using in their projects. I’m making a lot of money on this and I’ve made great success. So… I’m pretty happy with that!

Plus, it's kind of cool to come across my own music here and there, whether I'm watching a film like Respire (where I surprisingly heard some of my music in the background to one of the scenes in the movie) or playing a game like Vertigo on the Wii, where I also surprisingly recognized my own music.

All the best,
Bjorn Lynne

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

A new album release - "New Tech Haven"

Hi all!


It's been quite a long time since I posted any news on this blog, but that's just because I've been working on my music and my music publishing business. Anyway, I am now happy to announce the release of my first new CD album release for 3 years: New Tech Haven.

This album contains 12 tracks which I've picked out from the 40 or so tracks that I have produced over the past couple of years. I chose some tracks that I felt would fit nicely together as an album that would be quite mixed, but also somewhat coherent and make up a nice listening experience from start to finish. I guess you guys will be the ones to judge whether I managed it. :-)

The music is a combination of electronic, energetic, ambient, fantasy, sci-fi and technology inspired electro.

You can listen to the whole album from start to finish in low sound quality on this page. From here you can also find links to buy the album as a CD or as a download in high quality MP3 or FLAC.

All the best,
- Bjorn Lynne -- September 2012

Friday, August 26, 2011

Worms, Worms and more Worms

From time to time I'm asked about music that I composed for the many different "Worms" games from 1995 until 2006 when I worked as a composer of video games for Team17 Software.

To keep this music from "dying out" I've now made a lot of it - maybe not all of it, but everything that I still had on backups and that I could make sense of, arrange and present in nice and tidy way, and that sounded ok as music in its own right, outside the scope of the game.

I invested a huge amount of creative effort in all that Worms music through the years, so it's with pleasure that I'm able to present it on my website now, so that the music can "live on" and be heard by fans of the games, and the music itself.

The music is available in FLAC (lossless audio) or MP3 (256-kbps) from the Bjorn Lynne Download Shop.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010


Just a kind of demo video for the music track "Digital Concepts" by Bjorn Lynne (c) 2010.

I made this track in a couple of days in November 2010. It's nothing big or important, just a sort of electronic groove/tech or whatever you would call it, with some piano leads and a little bit of electric guitar strings here and there.

The music has not yet been released on CD, but the track is available to license for use in commercial and non-commercial projects, video/film, games/YouTube, multimedia/Flash/websites etc. If you want to use this track in any project such as this, you can buy the track from www.Shockwave-Sound.com and that purchase includes a License to use the track for such projects. It's "Royalty-Free" music, so you don't pay any royalties based on sales, views, anything like that. Just a one-time license fee.

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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

White Fields track and video


It's the first of December 2010 - Winter has come to southern Norway, and I felt inspired to write and record this little music track which I called "White Fields". It's nothing big or important, just a little track with some synth washes, a chilled rhythm and some clean electric guitar licks with lots of reverb.

The photos are all taken by me, most of them yesterday, but a couple are from last winter, and they are all from around my neighbourhood, where I live, here in a small town called Stavern, about 100 km south of Oslo.

Well, I hope you'll enjoy it. Feel free to share it, spread this video link, etc. etc.

If you would like to license this music track for use in your own project, be it a game, video, YouTube, film, multimedia, any kind of project at all, then you can buy a license from www.Shockwave-Sound.com (search for "White Fields" in the search field there) and you get a license to legally use the track in your own media.

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Get a free Bjorn Lynne CD !

Dear friends,

Today I'm announcing a new promotion in which you can earn yourself a completely free, autographed, Bjorn Lynne CD or DVD, just by writing an article about one of my web services / online stores that I'm trying to promote online. In short terms, you will write something online, an article or blog post, about a somehow relevant subject, and in that article or blog post, you will link to one or both of my two sites: Shockwave-Sound.com (Royalty-Free Music, Stock Music), and/or 1SoundFX.com (Buy and download sound effect files). And in return for you writing about one/both of my services and linking to it/them, thus helping to create a "buzz" about these sites, I will show my appreciation by sending you a free Bjorn Lynne CD - autographed - as a completely free gift from me to you.

To read all the details and requirements, please check this page.

Thanks for reading!

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Monday, November 08, 2010

New music track "Outback Ramble"



This is just a video I put together to put some images to my latest music composition: "Outback Ramble". I felt that this music went well together with scenes of nature, forest, outdoors and relaxing natural scenes, so I used stock footage from Redwood National Forest, which I have licensed from FootageFirm.com.

The music was composed, recorded and produced over two days in early November 2010 in my home studio. There are about 4 layers of my acoustic guitar and the rest is programmed. At about 10 seconds in you can see a photo that shows how I set up the guitar recording. I have two microphones placed about 30 cm from each other and record those two mic's left/right for a nice, natural stereo sound on the guitar. The two microphones aren't identical, but in my opinion, they don't have to be. The guitar I'm using is a Crafter "jumbo body" acoustic that I bought about 15 years ago; I like the sound of it. It has built-in pickups and a jack plug, but I never use it. I don't like the sound of acoustic guitar recorded with built-in pickups. In my experience, it sounds "tinny", compressed and unnatural. For me, the best way to record an acoustic guitar is always with two microphones placed in front of the guitar. If you want a more "distant", roomier sound, you simply sit further from the microphones. If you want a really "up-close" sound, it's a no-brainer, you simply move up and sit really close to the microphones. :-)

Well, I hope you like the track. If you would like to license this track for use in a project of your own, you can buy a license from www.Shockwave-Sound.com (just search for the track title "Outback Ramble" there). Or if you are interested in hearing more of my music for just personal listening, please see my personal website www.LynneMusic.com . You can also buy my CD's from iTunes or from www.cdbaby.com/group/bjornlynne

Thanks for listening!

Bjorn Lynne
November 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Ice Planet video


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