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Google has rolled out a new tool to YouTube that’s designed to stop copyrighted material from being uploaded to the video-sharing service. Dubbed Checks, Google will now scan the entire content of the video during the upload process to determine whether any copyright-protected material has been included without permission.
As it stands, copyright claims are often submitted by rights-holders after the video has been uploaded and shared on YouTube. If any infringing content is found in our of your videos – including a music track that you’re using without permission, or a clip from a film or show – YouTube can block your video entirely, or remove adverts from the offending video to stop you from earning any revenue from the views that it’s managed to clock up.
Of course, it does without saying that distributing copyrighted material for free without permission from the rights holders is also illegal.
With Checks now in-place, YouTube users can find out whether there is anything that copyright holders could have issues with before the video is even live. This removes any potential issues around de-monetisation on videos, which works out better for everyone.
Checks leverage Google’s existing Content ID system, which is designed to sniff-out any copyright-protected material used in videos. This includes songs, videos, and more that have been submitted to Google by content owners.
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YouTube has made the new Checks feature available to anyone who uses YouTube Studio. The company has published a video about the best way to use these new pre-publication tools to upload videos that always comply with its rules on its community site.
As well as checking for copyright-infringements, Checks can also be used by creators who run popular channels with advertisements on every video to judge how “advertiser-friendly” their content really is. Of course, it’s down to the creator to work out whether they want to tailor their output to appeal to advertisers.
It’s worth noting that while this might all seem like a very helpful new tool from Google to keep YouTube piracy-free, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has previously warned of trouble with Content ID – the system that powers copyright claims and Checks. In a report published at the end of last year, the digital rights charity found that Content ID consistently left YouTube video creators with false claims to deal with. It also found that Content ID would often flag the same video multiple times.
For those who earn a living on YouTube or supplement their income with videos, each one of these claims can be devastating to their monthly pay packet.
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