Facebook is rolling out its copyright protection service for video creators.
The social network has been increasingly pushing its video platform, from snapping up the rights to stream comedian Chris Gethard’s show live every Thursday to live-streaming Game of Thrones’ Season 6 premiere and teaming up with HBO to produce a 360-degree video of the fantasy epic’s opening credits.
The site’s platform, though, has been plagued by one major shortfall compared to rival YouTube: the lack of copyright protection. Indeed, “freebooting” is a significant problem facing the vlogging community, as video creators take other people’s videos without permission and republish them as their own.
While YouTube has an established detection system for plagiarism, Facebook has been largely missing such functionality. Last year, Hank Green, who runs YouTube channel Vlogbrothers with his brother, John Green, was very vocal in criticising the site for not policing this properly.
In summer 2015, Facebook introduced a beta version of the service with a limited number of commercial publishers, including Fullscreen. Now, though, it is extending that access to a wider audience, something that creators and media companies have praised. Called Facebook Rights Manager, it allows publishers to submit reference files for individual videos as well as live video and TV feeds to find and block any unauthorised uploads.
“This is a critical step for Machinima and our vast talent network to make Facebook a more significant partner for monetization,” Machinima COO Stephen Semprevivo told Variety. “Rights management has been a pain point across Facebook for the creator community.”
“I think this is an excellent step, and I’m glad that Facebook has put together a good tool and is starting down the path to protecting people’s work,” said Green.
“I’m glad it’s here now, but it will take a lot of good work for creators to forget that a $300 billion company enthusiastically launched a video product a full year before they had a tool to protect independent creators from having their content stolen.”
However, the step is only the first along a long road to fully protecting creators’ work, as users are required to apply for access to the system, and Facebook retains the right to determine which applications will be successful.