Wednesday, March 9, 2016

YouTube announces team to improve Content ID and the video takedown process

Written by Chris Cooke — Speak to the YouTubers about the music industry, and there is immediately some hostility, because those are the people who “keep blocking my videos” with copyright claims. And if you are a YouTuber who has managed to build a big enough audience to generate decent revenue from your channel, a blocked video is lost income.

Of course the YouTuber may have made use of music without permission, hence the block, or a music rights owner suddenly start claiming the ad income. Though the system that handles copyright claims, Content ID, isn’t perfect, especially when it comes to matters of ‘fair use’ and such like under copyright law.

To that end, the video site has announced that a new team has been formed set with the task of improving the system via which videos are blocked – whether for copyright or other reasons – and the processes via which creators on the video site can appeal when their content or monetisation rights are taken away.

In a support forum post, YouTube told its creators: “Recently, there’s been a lot of discussion about the enforcement of our policies, from video takedowns to channel demonetisation. We want you to know that we monitor video takedowns very closely, and while we haven’t seen a big change in the overall rate of removals, it’s true that we do make mistakes. For this, we’re sorry and we strive to do better by you, our community”.

The post went on: “The good news is that the feedback you’ve raised in comments and videos on YouTube and beyond is having an impact. It’s caused us to look closely at our policies and helped us identify areas where we can get better. It’s led us to create a team dedicated to minimising mistakes and improving the quality of our actions”.

It’s not just a team of people chit chatting, by the way. “[This has] encouraged us to roll out some initiatives in the coming months that will help strengthen communications between creators and YouTube support. We’ll also make improvements to increase transparency into the status of monetisation claims. And of course, as we work to implement these improvements as quickly as we can, we’ll continue to take your feedback seriously”.

Quite what the specific changes will involve remains to be seen. On one level YouTube is balancing the interests of one group against another here, in particular music right owners versus YouTube creators, though those different constituencies often have similar issues with Content ID, so some improvements could make everyone happy.

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