If you’ve ever tried watching a video on YouTube, I’m sure you’re more than familiar with the 'Copyright Claim' graphic (below). For a brief moment, you click on a link thinking you’ll get the video you want, and then BAM! You’re stuck with this annoying screen because Content ID matched up the video you wanted to watch with something else, legitimate or not. It helps save YouTube from a lot of copyright lawsuits, but it’s also one of the biggest annoyances for creators, as their videos can often be claimed unjustly.
Next up for a similar treatment is Vimeo. The site announced in a blog post today that they are putting in a Content ID –like system called Copyright Match. It will, “ensure that the videos on our platform follow our Community Guidelines when it comes to respecting the copyrights of other artists and creators”. According to the blog post, it will take a “fingerprint” of a video when it is loaded and check it against “certain third-party copyrighted material”. I would expect their system to closely resemble YouTube’s Content ID system, in that creators and industry leaders alike can submit their content to be a part of the database for matching. Even the slightest hint of an audio or video match can cause a video to be flagged for review. From there, a creator can have their video slapped with ads or even as severe as a copyright strike, after three of which a channel is suspended from the site.
Automated Copyright Violation Software Now a Must
As Vimeo continues to grow their user base, a step like this is an absolute necessity to protect the business. It is unrealistic to expect the company to monitor every single upload on the site, which currently has over 26 million registered users. One thing that this does achieve for the site is a clear path that they want to compete with YouTube and want to do the things necessary to do so. By creating this system, they are saying that they value the original work on the site and want creators to feel comfortable posting and uploading to the site without fear of their material being stolen or misrepresented. Either that or they have a pending lawsuit and this is their way to avoid it.
In either case, this system should give Vimeo a little bit more credibility with creators, who overwhelmingly support YouTube right now. And if they can craft their system with a little more intelligence than YouTube has, they may find an influx of new creators, eager to post to a site that has far less roadblocks than YouTube does.