YouTube announces changes to Content ID Disputed videos will have funds held until resolved

Graphic via YouTube Content ID video

Creators on YouTube will soon see a small change to counteract false copyright infringement claims.

In an announcement on the YouTube creator blog on April 28, the streaming service announced an upcoming change to how copyright disputes are handled. Under the new system, YouTube will hold the money made until the dispute is resolved. Once resolved, they will distribute to either the creator or the third party depending on the outcome.

Previously, videos in dispute under YouTube’s Content ID system generated no income for either party. This meant that videos that were disputed incorrectly would keep revenue out of the hands of the creator. This could be particularly damaging when disputed within the first few days, when many videos rack up.

The statement, made by Content ID Group Product Manager David Rosenstein, said the company had been “listening closely to concerns about the loss of monetization during the Content ID dispute process.” He stated the change would be coming at an unspecified time over the next few months. A graphic was also included to explain the process.

via YouTube Creator Blog“We strongly believe in fair use and believe that this improvement to Content ID will make a real difference,” Rosenstein said. He also went on to say that this was why the company had made previous pushes to better explain fair use in its help documents.

“Even though Content ID claims are disputed less than 1% of the time, we agree that this process could be better,” he continued. “Making sure our Content ID tools are being used properly is deeply important to us, so we’ve built a dedicated team to monitor this.”

Response from some from some of YouTube’s biggest critics has been somewhat lukewarm.

Doug Walker, known on YouTube as Nostalgia Critic, has been a vocal opponent of abuses in YouTube’s copyright system. In February of 2016, Walker posted a video titled “Where’s The Fair Use” which showcased some inconsistencies and abuses in Content ID. This lead to a campaign under the same title using the hashtag #WTFU, seeking to change YouTube’s rules to be more evenhanded.

In response to the news, Walker released a series of Tweets. He called the change “a start”, but felt there are still bigger issues at play that break the system.

Former Destructoid editor Jim Sterling has had his own issues with Content ID abuses. Sterling told Polygon via email that “It’s certainly a step in the right direction, albeit just a step.” He continued saying “The power is still firmly in the hands of those who have continued to ignore fair use exceptions.”

About the author

R.C. Beiler

Robert Beiler is a journalist from Lancaster, Pennsylvania who serves as Editor-in-Chief for CommonGeek. He is also the former Editor-in-Chief of Live Wire Lancaster. He can sleep when he's dead.