Google has figured out a way to deal with thousands of piracy and copyright issues with its YouTube focused automated identification system, ContentID for audio and video, though visual artwork still remains a challenge.
Google’s piracy solutions are premised on the notion that piracy happens when consumer demand exceeds legitimate supply.
With its 2014 edition of ‘How Google Fights Piracy’ report, it claims to combat a piracy challenge which includes YouTube, search results and its Google Play/Music services, among others.
According to Google’s transparency report, it received 88,168,206 copyright removal or takedown requests for search in July over 2.8 million requests a day.
Although Google has stepped up its anti-piracy efforts, one can still see thousands of copyright infringing clips from movies or TV shows. Despite being uploaded by individuals with no affiliation with the copyright holders, the media hasn’t been removed. Instead, members of Google’s Content ID Program can use those clips to generate ad revenue, with user’s getting to see free content or use the content to make their videos.
If a person uploads an original video or audio to You-Tube, Google will create a “fingerprint” or unique ID for the upload. Members of the Content ID program submit the copyrighted works that they want the Content ID program to track. Each day, Google searches over 400 years worth of videos looking for any content that match the member’s submissions. When one of found, the member is notified. The member can then either ask for the work to be removed or instead, leave the content intact and run ads against it. The Content ID Program currently has 500 members, with the majority having decided that monetizing the infringements is better than banning the content. YouTube’s ContentID system handles 98% of content management on YouTube with over $2 billion paid to program members since 2007.
More than 1 billion unique visitors visit YouTube each month, and they collectively watch more than 6 billion hours of video. Obviously, some portion of this user-generated content likely will contain some copyrighted content so Google’s strategy has been their ContentID system, which not only allows for anti-piracy measures but also monetization.