The online video service launched the content ID tool back in 2007 using which rights holders uploaded music and videos they owned to a ‘fingerprinting’ database. Up until now 500,000 hours of reference files have been uploaded. Once the reference files are present, when new files are uploaded, the algorithms scan these new uploads against the copyright ‘fingerprint’ database for any matches. If a match is found, rights holders can have the video automatically removed or have the option of placing an advertisement on the video and make money.

The problem with the Content ID system was that it functioned largely in auto-pilot mode and there were cases of overmatches and rogue claims where videos were being either hijacked by false claims or were removed all together. Thabet Alfishawi, rights management product manager for YouTube, explained that because of the sheer volume of the uploaded videos and the number of claims “mistakes can and do happen”.

Alfishawi said, “We’ve improved the algorithms that identify potentially invalid claims. We stop these claims from automatically affecting user videos and place them in a queue to be manually reviewed.”

Up until now, a user didn’t have any option of disputing the claim when it came to certain types of Content ID claims. But, following the changes to existing methods of analyzing videos and new rules that have been announced, if a content ID match is challenged the rights holder will have the option of either abandoning the claim or filing an official takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which would expose the rights holder to potential monetary damages if the claim turns out to be false.

“Prior to today, if a content owner rejected that dispute, the user was left with no recourse for certain types of Content ID claims (e.g., monetize claims). Based upon feedback from our community, today we’re introducing an appeals process that gives eligible users a new choice when dealing with a rejected dispute,” Alfishawi said.


“When the user files an appeal, a content owner has two options: release the claim or file a formal DMCA notification,” he added.