Facebook Starts Scanning Video Uploads for Copyright Infringement

/ Oct 9, 2014

Here's how musicians should use facebook

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:

Facebook Copyright 4

A few minutes later came another notification that the video was ready to view:

Facebook Copyright 0

Except when clicking on the link, the video wasn’t there:

Facebook Copyright 1

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.

The note also provided a couple of links to explain Facebook’s copyright policy, as well as a way for the uploader to appeal the decision.

Facebook Copyright 2

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:

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  • I’m glad to see Facebook finally addressing stolen content.

    • guestwho2

      What, exactly, is being stolen? Theft is a criminal offense. Copyright violation is a civil matter.

      • There are lots of Facebook accounts that rip and re-upload content. I would post links but I don’t want to give them any promotion.

        • UdonNo

          i see loads of facebook groups that do this— how do they get away with it? I tried ripping a song from youtube and re-uploading and facebook deleted it..

      • Scott Zukowski

        It’s all Bull-Shit. Someone, a regular “Joe-Blow” who is not making ANY money in posting a video for fun or, as a comment to family/friends, is ONLY promoting said video and possibly, creating interest in the same. (To the author’s BENIFIT!!). Short-sited/greedy/ignorant assholes just don’t get it. So, they lose. . .as they deserve to.

        • Ron Harper

          Yep, a bunch of greedy, money grubbing MF’ers. It’s all about that all-mighty dollar. We wouldn’t want them to have to rough it & them not be able to live in a house that’s got it’s own zip code.

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