At last Facebook have put a Content ID system in place to stop ‘freebooters’ making money by uploading other people’s videos.
Facebook video has been a massive success since it launched with users getting millions of views on videos. The platform is perfect allowing you to easily share content and view it as you browse, generating easy ad revenue for creators. But until now Facebook have had no rights management for videos, meaning anyone could upload anything and, from that, profit from anyone’s video content.
This broken system resulted in an emergence of freebooters, users with large fanbases who reupload various content and profit from getting millions of views. Many content creators were rightfully angry, especially as Facebook videos now garner over 8 billion views a day and therefore generate a lot of revenue. That’s a lot of views and money lost to creators, considering how prominent freebooters are for view counts. Even crediting the original creator doesn’t give them back the views and money lost to them.
Popular Youtuber Hank Green wrote in a blog post titled ‘Theft, Lies, and Facebook Video‘ about how their system was broken and worked in favour of content theft. On the importance of views, beyond ad revenue, Green said: “This might seem a little like a victimless crime, but it fundamentally devalues the #1 metric of online video . The view is the thing that everyone talks about and it’s the thing creators sell to advertisers in order to make a living.”
Another YouTuber, Casey Neistat, revealed to Adweek that he had lost more than 20 million views on his content after freebooters uploaded his videos to Facebook. After spending weeks planning and preparing his “Aladdin Magic Carpet Prank” he uploaded it to YouTube and gained a successful 10 million views. But over double those views were made by re-uploaders on Facebook – losing Casey views, money, and potential fans with no effort from the the freebooters.
These reasons and more are why it’s so important that Facebook have now implemented a rights management system for videos. As the biggest social network and one of the biggest tech companies in the world it’s about time. Facebook’s rights management mirrors YouTube’s Content ID system which fingerprints content and then detects and strikes presence of the copyrighted content elsewhere on the site.
At the moment it seems like their copyright system isn’t automatic and you have to apply and add your videos at https://rightsmanager.fb.com, though this may be due to the majority of stolen content coming from other video hosts like YouTube.
Here’s what Facebook say their Rights Manager will do:
- Easily upload and maintain a reference library of video content to monitor and protect, including live video streams.
- Specify permitted uses of each video by setting match rules.
- Identify and surface new matches against your protected content so you can review them and file a report if needed.
- Allowlist specific Pages and profiles who have permission to use your copyright content.
- Outsource management, monitoring and protection of your content by using our Rights Manager API.
Facebook say if you can’t apply for their Rights Manager system you can still report copyright on a video, information on both can be found here.