Facebook just took a major step towards fighting copyrighted video content on its platform. The social networking site and burgeoning online video brand has launched new video matching technology to help prevent illegal posting of content. And it’s given select publishing partners access to the platform for beta testing.
In a blog post on August 27, 2015, Facebook announced its new content management platform as its solution to increasing publisher demand for better identifying stolen videos, a kind of epidemic known on the platform as “freebooting.” The social site already boasts content identification, fingerprinting, and removal tools through the third-party copyright software company Audible Magic. However, Facebook wrote in its blog post that “some publishers with particular needs, including creators whose videos have gone viral, have been asking for more tools.”
Currently, Facebook is working with Fullscreen, ZEFR, Jukin Media, and a select few unnamed brands and creators to test the video matching technology, developed in-house by Facebook’s team. Facebook writes how the new content management system is “tailored to our platform, and will allow these creators to identify matches of their videos on Facebook across Pages, profiles, groups, and geographies.” Publishers will be able to see all videos and their views through the matching tool, and either request a removal or allow the clip to stay on Facebook.
This content management platform mimics the ContentID system YouTube internally developed and has already had in place for years. Through that rights management platform, Google’s online video site lets creators report copyrighted material and send takedown requests. However, YouTube’s ContentID system goes one step further than Facebook’s new video matching tech, because it also provides video publishers the option of monetizing unauthorized content.
Facebook is working on monetization options on videos for creators and brands, but that process is still in its infancy. For now, the social site wrote in its blog post the company is collaborating with Audible Magic to “enhance the way that system works with Facebook” to help ensure future freebooting is avoided as much as possible. The social networking site also claims its updating its procedures to improve the speed of reporting and removal of infringing content.
Facebook’s efforts to improve its video management options for publishers is in direct response to criticism the site has recently received from some high-level online video magnates. For starters, Fullscreen CEO George Strompolos took to Twitter in early June 2015 to reprimand Facebook for not working harder to remove stolen video content from its platform, content which gets millions of views without proper attribution to the original creator. Two months later, YouTube star and one-half of the Vlogbrothers Hank Green wrote a post on Medium claiming Facebook was lying and cheating just to get ahead in the online video realm.
Now, it seems Facebook is determined to show creators it takes copyright infringement seriously. “This is just the beginning,” the site’s blog post reads. “In the long-term, our goal is to provide a comprehensive video management system that fits the needs of our partners. This will take time, but we’re working on it, and we’re committed.”
“We are collaborating closely with Facebook to provide feedback on their new video-matching technology,” Strompolos told Variety. “This is no small task, but it can be done, and we’re encouraged by Facebook’s early progress.”
Facebook said it plans to make its technology available to more video creators and brands in the future.