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YouTube Alters Copyright Algorithms

On October 3, 2012, YouTube announced that it is altering its algorithms to reduce invalid copyright infringement claims. The purpose of the new algorithms is to identify and prevent potentially invalid copyright infringement claims from hijacking YouTube users’ videos. 


YouTube’s earlier filtering system allowed copyright holders to upload music or videos to a “fingerprinting” database. Content ID, an algorithm, then compared videos from the fingerprinting database to those uploaded by YouTube users. If a match was found, the copyright holder had the option of having the video removed or placing advertisements on the video in order to make money.  U.S. copyright law does not require Google to have these filters; however, copyright holders are embracing it as a way to make money.


The new system provides YouTube users with an appeal process.  Under the new system, if a YouTube account holder challenges a copyright infringement claim the copyright holder has two options: (i) allow the infringement; or, (ii) file a formal take down notice in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.


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