YouTube says that it has been steadily improving its ability to manage content, especially infringing content, and the company has now showcased some major changes resulting from this process - some which will please content owners, some of which will please YouTube users.
Starting with the latter, YouTube has now implemented an appeals process for material taken down via the "Content ID" system, YouTube’s own copyright protection system. Content ID enables some 3,000 approved rights holders to upload videos to a central reference database, where they are digitally fingerprinted. There are some 500,000 hours logged. When YouTube detects content with a fingerprint match but uploaded by someone else, it enables the rights holders to automatically take it down, or place ads on it. Now the system has been updated with YouTube saying: "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 (eg 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.
YouTube also says that it has introduced smarter detection of "Unintentional Claims". Pointing out that content owners have uploaded more than ten million reference files to the Content ID system, YouTube "accepts that mistakes can and do happen". To address this, YouTube say "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. This process prevents disputes that arise when content not owned by a partner inadvertently turns up in a reference file. A recent example was NASA's footage of the Mars landing being taken down because the footage was subsequently used in a new service who logged the footage as their own, despite the fact the original video was on NASA's own YouTube channel - and they owned it - and had put it in the public domain! Hopefully a 'human' review element might improve this, although this in turn may slow valid take downs.
Writing on the official YouTube blog, Thabet Alfishawi, YouTube's Rights Management Product Manager said “There is still a lot of work ahead of us, but we believe that these are significant steps forward in our efforts to keep YouTube a vibrant place where the rights of both content owners and users are protected and everyone can control their original content and make money from it – money which can be put towards the production of more great content.”