Video-sharing website, YouTube, is altering its copyright rules regarding music that is used in videos. Although this may lead to a high amount of blocked videos in the near future, it could make things better in the long run.
Copyright owners won’t have the ability to monetize creator videos containing short or unintentional sections of music through the site’s “Manual Claiming” feature. With these changes in place, prevention of monetization or blocking the content will be the only options available, although YouTube anticipates that taking away the option of monetizing these types of videos will result in copyright owners simply ignoring them altogether.
“One concerning trend we’ve seen is aggressive manual claiming of very short music clips used in monetized videos. These claims can feel particularly unfair, as they transfer all revenue from the creator to the claimant, regardless of the amount of music claimed,” YouTube explained in a recent blog post.
Difference between Manual Claiming and Content ID
The changes will only relate to the Manual Claiming feature, a tool that isn’t actually used in most copyright violation cases. Most claims are handled via YouTube’s Content ID match system, which compares videos with a database of files that copyright owners have added to the site. When a match is discovered, copyright owners can decide if they want to block the video or monetize it in the hopes that it gains a lot of views.
However, the Manual Claiming feature is only provided to partners who know how Content ID functions. It enables them to scan over all publicly available videos on the site in search of any clips that possess their content, at which point a claim can be made.
The issue with Manual Claiming is that it was being inappropriately exploited, such as when the claimed music was only a second long, or when a vlogger happened to walk by a shop that was playing the copyrighted music. Even though the music was unintentional, the creator could lose their earnings for the video due to the copyright owner’s claim.
These claims make sense when they come from parsimonious high-end artists who scavenge for every cent they can find, but less popular artists should actually appreciate any positive exposure they can get. Regardless, YouTube notes, “As always, the best way to avoid these issues is to not use unlicensed content in your videos, even when it’s unintentional music playing in the background”.