YouTube is changing how it handles copyright claims around short or accidental clips of music in an effort to make the system fairer to the creators. However, in the short term, YouTube warns that the changes could result in more videos being blocked completely.
YouTube creators have increasingly struggled with record labels claiming their videos when music snippets are instantly displayed in the background, such as from the radio to a passing car. YouTube's new rules do not prevent these claims from happening, but they try to discourage claims by removing a key incentive for rights holders: the opportunity to make money.
Now, when a copyright claim is manually filed for "very short clips" of music or for "unintentional [ly]" music playing in the background of a video clip, the copyright holder will no longer be allowed to make money on ads placed on the video, instead they have to choose between leaving the video up and blocking the creator from making money, or blocking the video completely. The new rules only apply to copyright claims, so short clips of videos are not covered.
It's not a perfect solution. YouTube's hope is that by removing the opportunity to monetize these tiny snippets or random clips, the labels will spend less time searching for them, and instead just choose to leave creators at peace. The problem is that there is no guarantee that's what will happen. Label labels can keep up the pressure, but choose to block the videos completely.
Based on a blog post written by YouTube, is the increased response that the company seems to expect will happen right off the bat as labels adapt to new policies. "We recognize that these changes may result in more blocked content in the short term, but we feel this is an important step towards achieving the right balance in the long term," the company wrote.
The change comes in response to an increase in the number of manually filed copyright claims on small music clips in recent months. "We have noticed this trend with more aggressive manual claims, "David Rosenstein, YouTube's director of product production management, told The Verge . In May, my colleague Julia Alexander wrote about how big and small creators lost money because of these claims, with a big YouTube who claimed to have lost five characters in a video just to say a line from a Bon Jovi song (The copyright holder, Sony / ATV, eventually released the claim after it was disputed.)
YouTube & # 39; s new policy tries to stop it by covering situations when music is played unintentionally (like from a store passing by) and when music is played intentionally but very briefly (so theoretically you can blast a moment of "All Sta r "). YouTube doesn't define" very short ", but Rosenstein says the company speaks" single digit "seconds.
However, there are a few major caveats about the policy. It only applies to "manual" copyright claims ̵
Success also depends on how well YouTube enforces compliance with these new rules. When you manually submit a claim, licensees will always retain the option to choose to monetize an infringing video. The only difference now is that choosing this option in one of these scenarios would be a violation of YouTube's rules, but it's up to YouTube to enforce them. The company says it will block the ability to file manual claims from rights owners who "repeatedly fail" to comply with the rules.
YouTubers themselves will have nothing to say in the process. Although they feel that their video has been claimed incorrectly under the new policy, it will not be a way to formally dispute whether the policy should have used them. Instead, Rosenstein says YouTube has a review team that reviews the "loads" of claims each week to find problems. He adds that the team also monitors social media to catch any issues they missed.
Last month, YouTube updated the tools available to creators to better respond to these manual claims and potentially avoid the removal of video clips. It began to require manual copyright requirements to include specific timestamps around when the copyrighted content is displayed so that creators can quickly remove it or replace the sound using YouTube's built-in editing tools to keep the video up and running their own ads.  Rosenstein states that YouTube's copyright claim system is intended to be a "win-win" for creators and licensees, so that creators can legally use licensed music while ensuring that licensees are paid. "The win-win is not as strong as it used to be," Rosenstein said, "especially with very short use of music, which results in all the revenue being allocated from the creator, which in many cases really captures the audience."  "That's what we're working towards," Rosenstein said. "How can we restore that balance a little better."