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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

YouTube Claims Music Industry Happy With Content ID - Music Industry Begs To Differ


Written by Emma Woollacott — Google, long under fire from the music industry over YouTube’s Content ID system, has published a report claiming it’s paid out more than $2 billion to rights holders since its launch in 2007.

The controversial right management system is designed to automatically recognise copies of copyrighted material and allows content owners to choose whether to report, block, or monetize the content.

Google claims that most copyright owners choose the cash, implying that they’re happy with the way the system works.

“The music industry chooses to monetise more than 95% of their claims, opting to leave the content up on the platform – half of the music industry’s YouTube revenue comes from fan content claimed via Content ID,” the company’s senior policy counsel Katie Oyama writes.

“Thanks to Content ID, YouTube is also the only platform that gives partners an automated way to directly monetise background/incidental use and covers.”

The company claims that as much as half the music industry’s YouTube revenue comes via Content ID from fan content such as covers, remixes and dance versions.

She adds that the company has also been making efforts to fight piracy by eliminating pirate sites from its ad network; since 2012, it’s blacklisted more than 91,000 sites, Oyama says.

However, rights holders complain that YouTube isn’t paying a fair price for music, as it has them effectively over a barrel.

“Our member record companies’ experience demonstrates that Google’s Content ID tool is ineffective in preventing infringing content appearing on YouTube. Record companies and publishers estimate that Content ID fails to identify 20-40% of their recordings,” says the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) in a statement.

The IFPI also claims that Google’s search engine is still directing people to unlicensed music on a large scale.

“Well over 300 million de-list notices have been sent to Google by IFPI national groups worldwide,” it says.

“Despite this, the amount of traffic to infringing sites from typical music search queries sent to Google is now higher than it was before Google changed its search algorithm to supposedly address levels of piracy.”

And, they say, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) needs reform. Last month, 180 performers and songwriters - from Taylor Swift to Sir Paul McCartney – called for the removal of its ‘safe harbor’ provision, which protects YouTube and similar sites from the infringing actions of their users, as long as they respond to takedown notices from rights holders.

Earlier this week, rights owners took their case to the European Commission, asking it to order YouTube to pay artists more. They are also asking for royalties like those paid by radio stations to be extended to the likes of Spotify and Netflix.

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