Unlawfully re-uploading copyrighted video content — also known as freebooting — is a regular occurrence in the online world. One site where the issue is a big problem is YouTube. A decent sized group of YouTube creators — or creative thieves (however you want to label them) — often chop up clips from well-known podcasts or influencers, add a click-bait headline, and re-upload it in hopes of collecting views. And, to add insult to injury, these culprits often make money doing so. But, with a new tool, YouTube is looking to put a stop to the madness — or at least put the control in the hands of the original creator.
The Google-owned company is close to rolling out a tool that will identify videos that have been stolen and reposted by someone else and let the original creator pull the videos down — if they want to.
YouTube’s new Copyright Match tool, which has been in beta testing for close to a year, is scheduled to launch next week for creators with more than 100,000 subscribers, according to a report from Variety. If the tool discovers a duplicate (or a very similar video) Youtube will notify the original publisher via a notification in an upcoming “Matches Tab.” Creators then have three choices: they can do nothing and leave up the matching video up, contact the other creator and handle it personally, or request that YouTube removes the video. If the creator flags the video for removal, YouTube will first review the request to ensure it complies with its copyright policies.
YouTube already has an automated copyright-flagging system called Content ID, but, according to Fabio Magagna, who oversees the Copyright Match tool at YouTube, the new tool is designed especially for YouTube creators who have issues with unauthorized re-uploads. It is important to note, however, that some reposted or repurposed clips of videos could be considered fair use and wouldn’t constitute a copyright violation.