The tracks of the Youtube Sound Library may be used free of charge in videos and should be universally applicable without copyright concerns -- this way Google wants to make it easy for the video producers on its platform to accompany their clips musically without fear of possible infringements of rights.
Nevertheless, a recent case shows that even with Youtube Audio Library tracks, unexpected, subsequent license demands can occur -- with far-reaching consequences. Among others, a large Youtube channel with more than a quarter of a million subscribers and a large number of video clips is affected by the problem. Apparently, for the intro of numerous videos a song with a royalty-free license from the Youtube Audio Library has been used for years.
Recently, YouTube operator Matt Lowne received an email flood of copyright notices claiming that almost every one of his videos contains musical elements that are either licensed or owned by SonyATV, PeerMusic, Warner Chappell, Audiam and LatinAutor.
YouTuber nightmare: Copyright complaints en masse in your inbox
Each time the same song, Dreams by Joakim Karud, which Matt says was offered in the audio media library of Youtube, where you can download the "free" songs, but where it is no longer available, is criticized. Probably the song was removed sometime, because a sample of Kenny Burrell will be used. You can get an idea of the similarity of the very short guitar riff on Whosampled.
Matt Lowne now faces the usual option of either objecting to each of the over a hundred license notes individually (but can&t refer to the audio library anymore and runs the risk of getting his channel blocked), or he has to cede most of his monetization of all his Youtube clips to the "rights holders", which could mean the end of his YouTube channel. He has opted for a third (very tedious) option, an exchange of all audio tracks in the back catalogue of videos, although this will probably reset the collected views on the videos to zero. Looks like Matt Lowne did everything right, but still lost.
Because where did the used music come from again? Exactly: according to Matt from YouTube itself -- "Any YouTube creator now has access to more than 150 royalty-free instrumental tracks you can use for free, forever, for any creative purpose (not just YouTube videos).". And yet YouTube is obviously shifting all responsibility onto its users -- the song was removed at some point, but members who used it were not informed about it. If there are problems, YouTube does not support them in any way, e.g. by paying any monetizations twice (from our point of view that would be a possibility after all). As you know, there isn&t even a contact point on Youtube that you can turn to. No phone number, no fax, no mail, no forum. The only way to contact Youtube in case of problems is to send them a message on Twitter.
So videographers should know: unfortunately, there is seems to be no certainty that music from the Youtube Sound Library is free of copyright-laden (micro-)samples. The use is at your own risk -- and in case of complaints the usual procedure with the risk of copyright "strikes" and channel blocking applies, although the music is offered (or has been) by YouTube itself.