Vimeo Introduces Copyright Monitoring Tools

Posted by Adam Fairholm on May 21, 2014

Staff Post

On the heels of the March takedown of music videos uploaded by directors and production companies, Vimeo has introduced a set of tools to help manage copyright violations on the site. The system will scan uploads for copyrighted audio, but interestingly, instead of just taking it down it will present the uploader with some options. From Vimeo:

If we find a match, we’ll present you with a few simple options. If you believe your video follows our guidelines, you can quickly and easily appeal the match by providing Vimeo’s moderators with more information. You can tell us that you’re using the material with permission, that your use of the material is protected by “fair use” (more on that below), or that our Copyright Match system made a mistake.

What is fair use? Well, Vimeo's help section on the topic reflects how complicated the issue is, but it goes to lengths to point out that works that are in trouble are ones without permission from the copyright holder. Presumably, if a director or production company gets permission from the correct entity, they'll be able to appeal when uploading music videos. It remains to be seen what sort of documentation will be needed to provide to Vimeo moderators. 

This sounds like it'll be an extra step for directors and other music video professionals uploading to to Vimeo, but an easier process than appealing once a video has already been taken down. As they roll this out, I'd expect many existing music videos to have to go through this process. 

Adam Fairholm is the co-founder and lead developer of IMVDb. You can find him on twitter at @adamfairholm.

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