Earlier this week, YouTube made some news for changing the way its ContentID program works, including improving the appeals process
. Among the improvements was one in which more "borderline" cases that ContentID matched, but without as high confidence that it was definitely infringing, would go through a slightly different process:
“We’ve improved the algorithms that identify potentially invalid claims. We stop these claims from automatically affecting user videos and place them in a queue to be manually reviewed.”
I, and many others, believed this meant that Google would have people manually review those borderline cases. Some people in our comments even interpreted this to be an admission that Google could pre-check videos for infringement -- a mathematical impossibility
. However, Google has since clarified the statement to note that it wouldn't be Google doing the manual review
But what he meant to say was that some of the automatic matches will be sent to be reviewed “by the content owner” — not by Google
Of course, we've seen content owners have little qualms about overclaiming their rights at times, but perhaps this isn't a terrible idea. One of the real problems with ContentID was that it does these blocks completely automatically -- meaning that they could even be against the copyright holder's own real wishes. Pushing borderline cases to content holders to manually review is a step in the right direction, though still one that is likely to be abused.