Facebook to crack down on freebooting
Facebook is soon launching Rights Manager, a technology similar to YouTube’s Content ID, which will automatically match videos people upload to Facebook against a creator’s reference library to detect any infringement.
One key feature from the introduction page is that Rights Manager will allow a creator to:
Identify and surface new matches against your protected content so you can review them and file a report if needed.
This sounds like the tool will not autonomously file reports and take down videos on a creator’s behalf, as Content ID has been known to do. There’s pros and cons to both approaches:
YouTube’s Content ID is sometimes too aggressive and automatically takes down videos that aren’t infringing any copyrighted materials, but it does make sure that a matched video won’t go viral and cost the original creator a lot of revenue. Facebook’s Rights Manager, on the other hand, probably won’t suffer from many false positives because the creator reviews each case before a report is filed, but it won’t be as fast at taking down infringing content for that same reason. The tool does allow this review work to be outsourced, though.
Rights Manager will also let users whitelist pages that are allowed to post their content, but leaving an infringing video up and getting a share of ad revenue on that video doesn’t seem to be an option just yet. Facebook is experimenting with general revenue sharing, though, so hopefully we’ll see this in the future.
Hank Green, long time YouTuber and online creators’ rights activist, said:
I’m glad that Facebook has put together a good tool and is starting down the path to protecting people’s work. I do think it’s just the first step, and it will be very difficult for Facebook to figure out who gets access to the tool and who does not. I’m applying myself and hopefully we’ll be in the system soon. I’m excited to see how it works from the inside.
He does have some reservations about how long it took to launch the tool; see his full statement.
I’m personally very happy with how Rights Manager looks, since I created Stop Freebooting Now (now run by @zivader) to battle this exact problem. I’m very excited that Facebook, where most of the infringement happened (judging by the reports we received on the site), is adding native anti-freebooting tools to their platform in a way that seems effective and fair to both sides.
Finally, technologically it seems like a pretty interesting problem to have to match the tons of videos uploaded every day against the huge reference library they’re. I don’t think you could just compare hashes, especially when videos are cut, edited, or have those top and bottom borders with text and emoji’s put around them before they’re re-uploaded. It’d be very cool to see a deep dive into how this is done by someone who’s worked on Content ID or Rights Manager.