Facebook Launches Its Own Version Of ContentID, Which Will Soon Be Abused To Take Down Content

from the watch-this-space dept

Last year, after a bunch of YouTube video creators started slamming Facebook for allowing people to re-upload their videos to Facebook (they called it “freebooting”), Facebook insisted that it, too, was building a ContentID-like system to automate the process of taking down videos based on infringement claims. Last fall, the company announced that it would be using the same system basically everyone other than Google uses: Audible Magic as the backend system of that tool. And now Facebook has officially announced its product, called “Rights Manager.”

Today we?re announcing the launch of Rights Manager, a set of admin and workflow tools that help publishers and creators manage and protect their video content on Facebook at scale. With Rights Manager, we want to give video publishers the confidence that their content is protected across Facebook, as well as provide them with increased flexibility and greater control over the use of their video.

Of course, these days, thanks to pressure from copyright holders, large platforms all feel compelled to offer something like this, even if it’s not legally required. It’s amusing that even in an age where the legacy players are demanding a “notice-and-staydown” system for copyright claims, they’re still not happy that basically all the large platforms are already creating platforms that do exactly that.

But what’s totally missing from the announcement is how Facebook will avoid the kind of abusive takedowns that YouTube’s ContentID sees all the time. There’s no mention of how it will protect against bogus claims. There’s no mention of how it will handle disputes. Facebook just seems to pretend that the system will work perfectly and it won’t be abused. There’s little basis to think that’s true given how widely ContentID is abused on a regular basis. The company also says that it has updated its “repeat infringer” policy, which is the new hotness thanks to some recent lawsuits over what qualifies as a reasonable repeat infringer policy.

Perhaps Facebook’s system won’t be nearly as abused as ContentID since it doesn’t appear to (yet!) include ContentID’s “monetize this use” feature — but it still seems destined for abuse. And that’s especially true since the company notes that the new system will be used against live content:

Video publishers and media companies can also provide reference streams of live content so that we can check live video on Facebook against those reference streams in real time.

So I’m sure we’ll start seeing examples of livestreams being killed mid-show thanks to a snippet of music playing in the background. Considering that Facebook is betting big on live streaming, a few false flags taking down events that were livestreamed due to incidental copyright-covered content playing in the background may raise questions about how viable a tool this is.

To be clear, this is a difficult position for platforms to be in. They obviously feel strong pressure to take down infringing content, and an automated solution feels like it makes sense. But we’ve seen how these things are abused, and it’s at least a little concerning that Facebook doesn’t even seem to acknowledge that possibility in its announcement.

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Companies: facebook

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Comments on “Facebook Launches Its Own Version Of ContentID, Which Will Soon Be Abused To Take Down Content”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

One-sided penalties and the results from such

It’s not surprising that Facebook isn’t really focused or potentially even interested in abuses of the system, given how one-sided the law and rulings regarding copyright infringement are.

Fail to shut down a legitimate instance of copyright violation? Huge problem, potentially legally.

Shut down, by accident or deliberate action something that is not infringing? No problem, no penalty.

When the law heavily incentivises a ‘Shoot first, ask questions only if the if the target fights back’ mentality it’s not surprising that all the focus would be on the takedown half, with almost none put to the ‘What happens if legitimate content is taken down by the system?’ half.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I await Mike’s brilliant discussion of the millions of instances of intentional abuse of rights that necessitates such automated systems in the first place.

Oh wait, Mike never discusses that HUGE part of the equation. Why let context get in the way of a mindless, FUD-packed rant?

Techdirt, apologizing for piracy yet too chicken shit to discuss the hard issues.

Lollypop (profile) says:

basis of their needs

I applied. Immediately got this email: “Thank you for your application to join Facebook’s Rights Manager tool on behalf of X. Unfortunately, based on the information you provided, you have not been accepted into the tool today. Facebook is slowly introducing Rights Manager to partners on the basis of their needs. We encourage you to apply again after 30 days as we continue to accept more partners into the tool.”

I have no clue on what basis they have decided I don’t need this.

Techno says:

And the decline of Facebook begins

Facebook is literally shooting themselves in the face here. They are already having problems getting younger people into Facebook and now they are going to piss of the average, non-Youtube user. Neat. First they came for Veoh, but I didn’t use Veoh, Then they came for Youtube, but again I didn’t use Youtube, then they came for Facebook and Facebook became a wasteland as they literally gutted 90% of their content. There won’t even be a rolling tumbleweed as someone will claim ownership of those.

Anonymous Howard says:

I thought they had it already?

A few years ago I tried to upload a video to farcebook; the soundtrack was a song which I had hoped to have my less-tone-deaf friends help me transcribe, and which was not available on Youtube, Soundcloud, Spotify, etc.

Well, as soon as it had finished uploading and farcebook started processing it, they blocked it on the grounds that it contained copyrighted material.

How the hell did they manage that if they didn’t have something in already?

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