YouTube Introduces ‘Copyright Match’ to Address Rampant Plagiarism Problems

YouTube's 'Copyright Matcher' in action.
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YouTube's 'Copyright Matcher' in action.
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YouTube’s ‘Copyright Matcher’ in action.

It’s no mystery to anyone who has spent time on the site that YouTube has a plagiarism problem.

The company knows it too, which is why Google introduced Content ID back in 2007. Content ID has had a rocky history, though, which may account for the newest tool on the video streaming site: Copyright Match.

The Copyright Match Tool aims to protect YouTubers’ original content from illicit re-uploads.  Despite the often devil-may-care attitude that permeates the internet, that original content is legally protected intellectual property. For those who make a living off their original videos, getting duplicate content removed is a matter of survival.

Here is how the tool works.

You upload and publish your original content.  After that, you can search for duplicate videos.  If you find re-uploads, you can take one of three options.

Option one is that you do nothing.  For those engaged in brand building or awareness advertising, rather than monetizing content, this option makes sense. Option two is that you contact the other channel and ask them to take it down.

The final option is asking YouTube to remove the duplicate video.

There are some limitations involved with the new tool.  First up, you must upload the video before anyone else.  The system essentially identifies the first uploader as the copyright holder.  That doesn’t mean you can’t still get the video taken down if you aren’t first, but you can’t use this tool to do it.

Second, the tool only searches for complete duplicate content.  In other words, the other person must upload the entire video or the system won’t find it.

Even with these limitations, the Copyright Match tool serves two important functions.

It gives original content creators another layer of protection. It also lets YouTube distance itself from the deeply unpopular and much-maligned Content ID.

You can check out more about Copyright Match on YouTube’s help section