Millions of YouTube channel operators use the platform to distribute their own creations, from their latest musical compositions, to tutorials, reviews, or news segments.
While most remain unique, many of the most popular creators are plagued by people who rip their content from the site before re-uploading it to their own YouTube channel. It’s a quick way of grabbing thousands of views with minimal effort while denying creators clicks that would otherwise generate them revenue.
With the vast majority of YouTube content available free to all, there are few excuses for this kind of behavior and for many of the larger channels, it’s become a real thorn in the side. Now, however, YouTube says it’s releasing its new ‘Copyright Match’ tool to mitigate the problem.
“We know how frustrating it is when your content is uploaded to other channels without your permission and how time consuming it can be to manually search for these re-uploads,” says Fabio Magagna, Product Manager for the Copyright Match tool.
“We currently provide a number of ways for copyright owners to protect their work, but we’ve heard from creators that we should do more and we agree.”
Copyright Match, which uses similar technology to YouTube’s Content ID system, is designed to detect re-uploads of content to other channels. Once a user uploads a video, YouTube will scan subsequent uploads to see if they are the same or “very similar” to the original.
If a match is found, the original uploader will receive a notification in his or her YouTube panel which will give them several options.
The second possibility is to get in touch with the secondary uploader. This could lead to a productive discussion (such as a gentle request to remove the video, perhaps) or, quite possibly, something a little more aggressive.
Finally, users can simply ask that YouTube takes the video down, an option that comes with options of its own.
“When you request removal you can do so with or without a 7-day delay to allow the uploader to correct the issue themselves. Takedown requests will be reviewed to make sure they comply with YouTube’s copyright policies,” Magagna explains.
While YouTube will carry out its own checks, the company advises users to review each incidence of ‘Copyright Match‘ to ensure that they do indeed own the rights to the matched content and that the copy infringes on their rights.
It’s important to note that in some cases, a match might not necessarily mean that an infringement has taken place.
“You should not file a copyright takedown request for content that you do not own exclusively, such as public domain content. You should also consider whether the matched content could be considered fair use or could be subject to some other exceptions to copyright and hence not require permission for reuse,” YouTube notes.
Magagna, who is also heavily involved with YouTube’s Content ID system, says that the Copyright Match tool will begin rolling out in the coming days to protect channels with substantial numbers of subscribers. Longer term, however, it should become available to all.
“Next week, we’ll start rolling this tool out to creators with more than 100k subscribers. As this is a powerful feature, we will monitor usage closely and will continue to expand over the coming months with the long-term goal of making it available to every creator in the YouTube Partner program,” Magagna concludes.
is a legal practitioner, website developer and ICT Consultant.