Facebook Starts Scanning Video Uploads for Copyright Infringement
As the company continues to build its video business, it appears Facebook has turned-on its ability to scan videos for copyright violations. Now, videos published natively to the social network — as in not an embed of a YouTube clip — will first be checked for any infringing content before the video shows up on a user’s profile page or news feed.
In this way, Facebook will be able to head-off any potential violations before they actually happen. For instance, I attempted to upload the official music video to TV on the Radio’s “Careful You” (great song — watch it below! Legally!). Once the upload was complete, I received the customary note that the video was being processed:
A few minutes later came another notification that the video was ready to view:
Except when clicking on the link, the video wasn’t there:
A few minutes later came the warning from the social network, which explained the reason for why the video was not published to my page. “This video may include copyright material (such as a clip or audio) that you do not have the right to share,” read the note. Future violations could result in Facebook blocking my ability to upload videos, or disabling my account, it added.
It’s no secret that Facebook wants more premium content on its platform. For instance, the company recently signed a deal with Lionsgate, Women in Film, and “Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer to exclusively distribute a series of short films based on the blockbuster young-adult saga.
But in an effort take on YouTube for web-video supremacy, Facebook has also been courting top YouTube stars to upload videos directly to the social network — which it claims drives better engagement and performance than simple YouTube embeds.
More professional content, mixed with high-performing videos from top YouTube talent, means a copyright-scanning feature was inevitable.
What makes this far more interesting, though, is if (and really when) Facebook decides to enable advertising on its native videos. Right now, the network does not allow it, which means that for all the views a creator or publisher can generate on Facebook (overall, more than 1 billion views per day across the entire network), there’s no money being made.
But with LiveRail now under its umbrella, pre-rolls are also an inevitability for Facebook. And when that day comes, Facebook needs to have a content-scanning feature in place in order to avoid all of the lawsuits that have come YouTube’s way since it first started monetizing.
We’ve emailed Facebook for comment.
But in the meantime, you can still watch “Careful You”! Via YouTube: