Ever had a video taken down on YouTube because a copyright holder claimed you're using some of their footage without permission? As of Wednesday, you've got one extra shot at appealing that decision.
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Previously, if you believed your video did not infringe on copyrighted content, you could file a "dispute" with the video giant. But if the rights holder disputed your dispute, you were fresh out of luck. The video stayed down.
Now YouTube has added a second and third layer to the process -- the "appeal." If a content holder still insists you're using their material without permission after you appeal, they have to go the extra mile and file a DMCA takedown notice. In the meantime, your video will go back up.
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If you appeal that takedown notice, the copyright holder will have to take the case to court -- but you'll also have one "strike" against you on YouTube. Three strikes and you're out of the service.
The trouble with the previous system was that too many good videos were being taken down automatically, even without the copyright holder necessarily wishing it.
One infamous example: when the Mars Curiosity Rover landed on the Red Planet in August, the official NASA video of the landing was taken down because Scripps News Service had uploaded their video first -- and it contained some of the freely available NASA footage.
(Scripps later withdrew the complaint, which had likely been filed by an overzealous producer checking the wrong box.)
YouTube says it has improved its copyright detection algorithm to prevent that kind of outcome in the first place.
The system still isn't entirely equitable. It costs nothing for a rights holder to indiscriminately file a DMCA takedown notice, whereas the user gets an automatic strike against them -- so much for "innocent until proven guilty." But the hope is that more steps in the process means more opportunity to sort the genuine complaints from the NASA video situations.
"There is still a lot of work ahead of us," YouTube Rights Management Product Manager Thabet Alfishawi acknowledges. "But we believe that these are significant steps forward in our efforts to keep YouTube a vibrant place where the rights of both content owners and users are protected."
This story originally published on Mashable here.