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YouTube Tweaks Content ID System, Allows Ads on Disputed Videos

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YouTube announced an upcoming improvement to its Content ID system, one that should help rights holders generate revenue from disputed videos.

YouTube's automated Content ID system was created to stop the unauthorized use of copyrighted video or audio. If rights holders notice their work being used unfairly, they can choose to have the videos removed or leave them up and make money from ads. While infractions are usually handled automatically, some disputes require human intervention, a process that can take days. Under the current system, ads aren't shown on disputed videos. The problem is that those early days are often when a video gets the most plays, so not having the option to show ads on them can be costly.

Yesterday, YouTube announced via blog post that ads can be shown on disputed videos, so long at the video creator and the claimant agree to show them. Once the matter is decided, that ad revenue goes to whichever site has prevailed. YouTube says the new feature will be available "in the coming months."

"We strongly believe in fair use and believe that this improvement to Content ID will make a real difference," wrote David Rosenstein, Content ID group project manager.

A YouTube engineer explained how the Content ID system works in a 2011 Streaming Media Europe keynote address. In October 2012, YouTube announced improvements to Content ID that added an appeals process for times when mistakes happen.

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