Google Finally Changes ContentID Appeals Process
from the good-move dept
While some aspects of YouTube’s ContentID feature have been quite cool, creating new ways for content creators to monetize their works, there have been significant problems too, especially in taking down legitimate content with little recourse for the uploader. Thankfully, it appears that the folks at YouTube have finally realized that the counter-notification/appeals process for ContentID takedowns was bogus. A lot of people get DMCA takedowns and ContentID takedowns confused, but they’re different. With the DMCA, you have an official counternotice process, and if the copyright holder doesn’t sue (realistically, file for an injunction), then YouTube puts your content back up after 10 business days. However, with ContentID, there are no legal rules. Google handled ContentID disputes by letting the copyright holder simply “reject” the dispute — and that was about the end of it, even in cases where they were putting ads on someone else’s content. Now, however, YouTube has revamped the appeals process so that if someone disputes a ContentID takedown, the copyright holder would need to file an actual DMCA claim if they want to keep claiming infringement:
Users have always had the ability to dispute Content ID claims on their videos if they believe those claims are invalid. Prior to today, if a content owner rejected that dispute, the user was left with no recourse for certain types of Content ID claims (e.g., monetize claims). Based upon feedback from our community, today we’re introducing an appeals process that gives eligible users a new choice when dealing with a rejected dispute. When the user files an appeal, a content owner has two options: release the claim or file a formal DMCA notification.
This is a much more reasonable process that doesn’t allow people claiming copyright to effectively take over a video regardless of whether or not the video’s uploader disputes it. This probably should have happened a long time ago, but it’s good to see it finally has.
The announcement also claims that their system is becoming better at avoiding “invalid claims.” It sounds as though there’s some sort of threshold now, where if something is borderline, it goes into a manual review queue, rather than automatically being taken down. So the more “gray area” cases will get a human review first.
We’ll see how all of this works out, but it’s good to see that Google is taking many of the complaints about ContentID’s overeager takedowns seriously.