Facebook Finally Cracks Down On Video Piracy

Facebook didn’t get to be one of the largest video streamers on the web without making a few enemies. Unfortunately, up to this point, a lot of those enemies were the people actually creating cool video content for the site.

Today, Facebook is trying to rectify its poor management of controlling video piracy on its site and appease video creators who have been getting kind of pissed off at the site with a series of new updates.


Comic//Anthony Clark

Facebook currently uses the services of a company called Audible Magic to identify when someone uploads a video that violates someone else’s intellectual property. Facebook says Audible Magic does so through “audio fingerprinting technology,” which identifies videos with identical audio tracks and prevents them from reaching people’s feeds.

In practice, it’s been far from perfect and is much less refined than YouTube’s Content ID system which video publishers seem to have much more positive things to say about. Indeed, it’s been reported that nearly 70% of Facebook’s most popular videos are freebooting re-uploads.

“We’ve heard from some of our content partners that third parties too frequently misuse their content on Facebook,” the company said in a blog post today. “This practice has been called ‘freebooting,’ and it’s not fair to those who work hard to create amazing videos.”

In addition to hinting at a number of improvements to Audible Magic, which will “enhance the way that system works with Facebook, including improving the intake of content intended to be blocked from our platform,” Facebook also announced a special beta tool today for select creatives pushing out much of the site’s viral video.

Today’s Facebook blog post describes the update:

We have been building new video matching technology that will be available to a subset of creators. This technology is tailored to our platform, and will allow these creators to identify matches of their videos on Facebook across Pages, profiles, groups, and geographies. Our matching tool will evaluate millions of video uploads quickly and accurately, and when matches are surfaced, publishers will be able to report them to us for removal.

Facebook has definitely waited too long to introduce these features, apparently preferring to wait and watch its video platform’s popularity skyrocket while video publishers suffer. That being said, it’s a relief to hear that Facebook is now finally prioritizing tools that handle protecting all of the cool creative content that people are putting on the site.