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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Filed Under: automated systems, content id, copyright, notice and staydown, rights manager, takedowns
Companies: facebook


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  1. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Apr 2016 @ 3:53pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 4:02pm

    Facebook seems tonedeaf to people's concerns by introducing a nearly identical system to Youtube at a time where large Youtube celebrities are making a big deal out of that very system's abuse.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 4:16pm

    Techdirt: Fabricating abuse before it even happens, from the precog-FUD-packer dept.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 4:26pm

    Re:

    It's a prediction based on figurative mountains of evidence. It doesn't FUD to show how this selfsame system is being widely abused daily.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 4:33pm

    Re:

    Yeah, who could possibly predict that a tool that works like one constantly abused will be constantly abused!?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 4:39pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Lollypop (profile), 13 Apr 2016 @ 4:41pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 4:47pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    That totally excuses everything. End justifies the means, amirite? Let's add more abuse to address abuse! That'll show everyone!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 4:57pm

    Re: Re:

    Willful ignorance is difficult to overcome.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 5:00pm

    Re: basis of their needs

    Did you use the secret hand shake?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 5:00pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You're hilarious. Mike has chosen to write articles focused on the abuses.

    You're more than welcome to write and share articles focused on your "millions" of instances at your next office meeting. I'm sure you have a coworker polite enough to pretend to listen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 5:03pm

    Think I will post a nature video on facebook. I wonder how long before it is taken down because someone claims ownership of that bird singing in the background.

    And - yes, this has already happened on youtube.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Techno, 13 Apr 2016 @ 6:11pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 7:19pm

    Re:

    Predicting ... and when (not if) it does happen will your comments be mysteriously absent from here?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 7:44pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You mean like how Chris Dodd just declared how they had another box-office record this year?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 13 Apr 2016 @ 8:08pm

    Re: Techdirt: Fabricating abuse before it even happens

    Einstein’s definition of insanity comes to mind: doing the same thing over and over, hoping for a different outcome.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. icon
    Whatever (profile), 13 Apr 2016 @ 11:09pm

    Well, here's a question for you: Do you think it will be abused more or less than the content that is shared, distributed, and pirated every day?

    Write a story from that perspective, and perhaps it might mean more.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 12:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Paid-for, deliberate ignorance is even trickier!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Howard, 14 Apr 2016 @ 1:51am

    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?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 4:00am

    Re:

    I would put money on there being more abusive claims than valid ones.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 5:19am

    Re:

    That story lost meaning after hearing Cary Sherman scream about the death of the music industry year after year after year.

    Your side's perspective lost all meaning when you decided to go for the "cry wolf" approach.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 5:21am

    Re:

    "the content that is shared, distributed, and pirated every day"

    Free advertising is a bitch. Advertisers love bitches.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 5:25am

    Re: I thought they had it already?

    Sounds similar to the story of an amateur photographer who was accused of copyright infringement by a Walmart employee when he requested a print of his photos. The Walmart employee claimed the photos were too good for him to have been the person who took them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 14 Apr 2016 @ 6:07am

    Re:

    "perhaps it might mean more"

    To you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 7:11am

    Re:

    You're just as silly as the other guy. Go pick a different fallacy out of a hat.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 7:53am

    The system will work perfectly

    Facebook just seems to pretend that the system will work perfectly and it won't be abused.

    It will work perfectly, the advertisers will be pleased and continue to buy ads. The Facebook users, well they don't really count.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 10:03am

    Re:

    Why do you insist on using a nuclear weapon to deal with a wasp?
    The damage due to piracy is negligible, while the damage due to abusive claims is massive, it silences people and forces them out of any participation in culture and politics.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 10:39am

    Big Brother's Facebook learned nothing with YouTube.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. icon
    Whatever (profile), 14 Apr 2016 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re:

    Why do you insist on banning fly swatters? It is because your parents hit you with one as a kid?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 6:06pm

    Re: Re:

    " it silences people and forces them out of any participation in culture and politics."

    Perhaps this is their goal

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. identicon
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    Thanks for sharing useful information about facebook content !!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. icon
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  33. identicon
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