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YouTube stands by Content ID system

Video hosting site tells content creators to consider turning off background music to avoid claims

YouTube's crackdown on copyrighted material is entering its second week, and the online video site is sticking to its automated "Content ID" system of managing copyright claims despite widespread criticism from the video creating community. As reported by Kotaku, YouTube sent an e-mail explaining its current program to affected users, but offering no changes in how the system will be applied or enforced.

"Whether gaming, music or comedy is your passion, know that we love what you do," YouTube said. "We've worked hard to design Content ID and other tools to give everyone - from individual creators to media companies - the opportunity to make great videos and earn money. As YouTube grows, we want to make sure we're providing the right product features to ensure that everyone continues to thrive."

When the Content ID system identifies a video that uses images or audio matching YouTube's database of copyrighted material, it flags that content and follows the copyright holder's chosen course of action for such scenarios, which include blocking the content outright or taking the monetization rights from the user and attaching their own ads. However, false positives have been a problem, as game developers and musicians have been receiving claims on videos for which they hold all the rights.

YouTube's e-mail to content creators makes no acknowledgement of such problems, though it does link users to a page detailing options for disputing a Content ID match. The site also suggests that users creating video game content turn off background music for gameplay footage, as that may have been licensed by the publisher, and according to YouTube, the music license-holder is within its rights to block or monetize such videos.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.