YouTube manual-claiming copyright tool gets more changes


The news that YouTube is making changes to the way its copyright-claims process works for music used in videos sounds like big news, but the caveat in this case is that the changes apply to ‘manual’ claims. That’s as opposed to automated claims using its Content ID system, which account for the “vast majority” of music-copyright claims on YouTube according to the company’s blog post yesterday. However, for claims filed by rightsholders changes are afoot.

“Going forward, our policies will forbid copyright owners from using our Manual Claiming tool to monetise creator videos with very short or unintentional uses of music,” explained YouTube. “Without the option to monetise, some copyright owners may choose to leave very short or unintentional uses unclaimed. Others may choose to prevent monetisation of the video by any party. And some may choose to apply a block policy.”

YouTube will begin enforcing the new policy in mid-September, and admitted in the blog post that “these changes may result in more blocked content in the near-term, but we feel this is an important step toward striking the right balance over the long-term”.

We note with interest that any such increase in blocked content due to ‘very short or unintentional’ uses of music will coincide with the start of European countries implementing the EU’s new copyright directive, with one of YouTube’s key lobbying arguments against parts of that legislation being that… more content using music would be blocked as a result!

Stuart Dredge

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