A clerical error led to the grounding of some of a Maritime band's videos on YouTube, says Universal Music Group.
Halifax-based In-Flight Safety saw five of its videos blocked on YouTube because of alleged copyright infringement, replaced with a notice that said, "This video contains content from UMG. It is not available in your country."
Universal is now saying the ban should never have happened.
It took some difficult calls from John Mullane, the band's lead singer, to clear up the problem.
"I just called Los Angeles, screaming at various people who were just trying to get rid of me, saying it's not our problem, it's YouTube's problem," said Mullane.
"I just stayed on point and said no, it's your name on the copyright claim, and I really want to talk with someone who can fix this."
As late as Wednesday morning, not all of the band's videos had been restored.
The confusion stemmed from a brief relationship between the band and Universal eight years ago. That relationship is now over, but somebody — either YouTube or Universal — forgot to uncheck a box to say that the relationship, and therefore any kind of copyright protection, was over.
Universal now acknowledges the video didn't contain any content owned by them.
"In this case, the material was misidentified as being connected with Universal Music Group because of a previous distribution deal between Universal and the band," said Universal spokeswoman Amy Terrill.
All of In-Flight Safety's music videos have now been restored to YouTube. Terrill said Universal is now trying to find ways to make it easier for bands to clear up problems like this if they happen again.
No one from YouTube could be reached for comment.