Remember when YouTube accidentally blocked the Democratic National Convention’s livestream for a short period of time? This was due to an incorrect copyright claim, and now, YouTube is taking steps to make it harder to block videos on the site.
The Google-owned product is updating its algorithms to better review complaints before aut0-blocking now.
Here’s what Rights Management Product Manager Thabet Alfishawi writes of the update on YouTube’s blog:
Content owners have uploaded more than ten million reference files to the Content ID system. At that scale, mistakes can and do happen. To address this, 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. This process prevents disputes that arise when content not owned by a partner inadvertently turns up in a reference file.
Smarter claim detection minimizes unintentional mistakes. Of course, we take action in rare cases of intentional misuse, up to and including terminating Content ID access.
YouTube is being praised to an extent for making these updates. Ars Technica’s Timothy Lee calls it “clearly an improvement [but] still leaves a lot to be desired.” Lee also includes the opinion of Regent University law school graduate who has the website FairUseTub.org, Patrick McKay, saying he is ”cautiously optimistic” about the improvements.
“It looks like they have finally made the exact change I and other critics of the Content ID dispute process have been calling for them to make,” he said. “I only regret that it took YouTube several years to realize that giving copyright claimants the ability to reinstate their own claims was a problem,” McKay told Ars Technica.
Alfishawi wrote on the blog that the YouTube team “still a lot of work ahead of us, but we believe that these are significant steps forward in our efforts to keep YouTube a vibrant place where the rights of both content owners and users are protected and everyone can control their original content and make money from it – money which can be put towards the production of more great content.”
This post has been updated to include Google’s correction that it will not in fact be manually checking videos for copyright infringement before blocking them.