Facebook Connects Video Copyright-Flagging System to Third-Party Tools

Facebook is promising to make it easier for content owners to police the social platform for unauthorized and pirated videos — and then either monitor or block them, or potentially make money from them.

A year and a half ago, Facebook launched Rights Manager to let media companies and other copyright holders identify unauthorized video sharing based on reference files. But using the system has largely been a manual process, unless rights owners developed hooks from their own automated systems into the Rights Manager’s API.

Now, Facebook is directly integrating Rights Manager with services from three third-party providers — Zefr, Friend MTS, and MarkMonitor — to provide new options to automate such tasks. Facebook says the partners will be activated over the coming months.

“We want to give rights owners access to Rights Manager in the ways that make the most sense for their business,” Facebook product manager Xiaoyin Qu wrote in a blog post.

Google-owned YouTube has for years provided copyright-flagging tools through its Content ID system, which it first launched in 2007.

While Facebook doesn’t charge any fees to use Rights Manager, the third-party partners do. Zefr’s RightsID system was originally created for YouTube. U.K.-based Friend MTS’s services for TV broadcasters let them find illegal live-streams of their channels, while MarkMonitor provides antipiracy-screening services for on-demand and live-streaming video.

“We can look at the world of video on Facebook and identify the content that matters,” said Jason Kirk, Zefr’s chief business officer.

Zefr has worked with the Rights Manager team at Facebook since 2015 as a beta partner. Through Zefr’s access to Facebook’s video-search API, it can help rights holders find intellectual property via descriptive search; Zefr also will offer clients the capability to manage the queues of automated matches returned by Rights Manager.

Facebook’s Rights Manager lets content owners create automated rules to determine what actions to take when it finds a copyright-infringing video. They can block the video from being viewed; leave the video up and monitor it for activity; or claim a share of any advertising revenue generated if an ad break runs during the video. In addition, rights holders can choose to manually review the videos that are flagged as a match.

Content owners must be approved to access to Facebook’s Rights Manager tool, via an application available at rightsmanager.fb.com.

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