Facebook's ContentID Clone Had A Vulnerability That Opened Up Ability For Users To Game Others' Videos

from the this-stuff-ain't-easy dept

Earlier this year, we noted that Facebook had launched its own ContentID clone, called Rights Manager, which was a response to a bunch of angry YouTubers who were annoyed at people "freebooting" popular YouTube videos onto Facebook. We noted that, like ContentID, we fully expected the system to be abused to take down content. While we haven't heard examples of that just yet, it does appear that Rights Manager had some serious vulnerabilities that enabled anyone else who was signed up for Rights Manager to manipulate the information and rules on any other video in the system (including, obviously, those claimed by other users).
Simply put, an imposter could easily wander into your anti-imposter pages without logging in first.

According to Muthiyah, pirates could actually have used Rights Manager to rip off their own copies of your reference copies, thus freebooting directly via the anti-freebooting interface
To its credit, Facebook fixed the problem and paid the researcher who found it a bug bounty of $4,000.

However, this does point out something rather important. Building these kinds of systems is really difficult. Beyond the problem of abuse that we frequently talk about, bugs and security flaws are a real risk as well. And yet, many in the film and recording industries still insist that it's "easy" to build a filtering system like this and that all sites should be legally required to do so. And, sure, Facebook and Google and the likes can afford to pay lots of money to build systems -- even buggy ones -- and then have bug bounties and such. But smaller companies aren't able to do so. Requiring them to do so basically wipes out the possibility of smaller startups entering the space and cedes the market, permanently, to the giant companies that everyone complains about.
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Filed Under: contentid, copyright, filters, rights manager, security, videos
Companies: facebook


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  1. identicon
    gmail login, 26 Jul 2017 @ 12:57am

    very good

    This is partly what makes copyprotection enforcement difficult in general. It's opt-out, instead of opt in, so the government refuses to carry any of the burden of letting us know what's still protected and what's not and they refuse to require IP holders to carry any of that burden. They also carry none of the burden of ensuring that, once content does enter the public domain, it becomes publicly available. There is no requirement to register content in such a way that the government has a copy of that content for identification (to avoid infringement) and for release once it does enter the public domain. Plus copy protection lengths last so long that it can be hard to keep track of when something was created and when it will enter the public domain (not that anything ever enters the public domain anymore due to corporate lobbying). The public carries all of the burden.

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