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YouTube Will Let Copyright-Disputed Videos Keep Earning Ad Revenue While Claims Are Pending

YouTube, in a move to appease creators aggravated by bogus copyright claims, is adopting a new policy for its Content ID system that will let videos continue to generate ad revenue while ownership disputes are evaluated.

“Currently videos that are claimed and disputed don’t earn revenue for anyone, which is an especially frustrating experience for creators if that claim ends up being incorrect while a video racks up views in its first few days,” David Rosenstein, YouTube’s Content ID group product manager, said in announcing the change.

YouTube said the new solution will roll out over the next few months.

Under the revised policy, when both a creator and someone making a copyright claim choose to monetize a video, YouTube will continue to run ads on the video in question. Once the Content ID claim or dispute is resolved, YouTube will then pay that revenue to the appropriate party.

“We strongly believe in fair use and believe that this improvement to Content ID will make a real difference,” Rosenstein said. He noted that YouTube remains “the only platform where anyone with an idea and a camera can turn their videos into full-time jobs.”

The move comes as Facebook earlier this month opened up its Rights Manager tool for flagging unauthorized videos on the social service to more publishers. However, unlike YouTube Content ID, Facebook’s system doesn’t let rights holders claim user-uploaded content and then continue to make money on it.

Content ID claims are disputed less than 1% of the time, according to Rosenstein. Still, the Google-owned service has now established a dedicated team to ensure Content ID tools are being used in accordance with its guidelines. The team also is tasked with restricting feature access or terminating a partner’s access to Content ID if they discovery repeated abuse of the system.

In the past year, YouTube’s Content ID team has resolved “millions” of invalid claims and acted on “millions more” before they affected creators, according to Rosenstein.

As of July 2015, more than 8,000 partners were using Content ID, including major TV networks, movie studios and record labels, according to YouTube. It also had more than 35 million active reference files in the Content ID database.

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