Business News Digital

Facebook unveils its version of Content ID

By | Published on Wednesday 13 April 2016


So, as you were all loudly declaring, I’m sure, fucking YouTube. But hey, what about fucking Facebook? It’s in the process of transforming itself into a video platform, allowing users to rampantly grab bits of video from elsewhere on the net, posting them on their Facebook pages to garner all the likes they can, while screwing over Mr Rights Owner and Mrs Creator. So why don’t people moan more about fucking Facebook?

Well, on the quiet, they have been, as video has become an ever bigger deal on the uber social network. Though, actually, it’s generally been the YouTube talent who have seen their content plundered by Facebookers who have been moaning the most to date. Perhaps their has been less moaning from the music community because the Facebook video experience isn’t such an on-demand style set-up yet, so record labels still see it as promo rather than as a head-on competitor of Spotify and Apple Music.

However, if Facebook is going to rely on those safe harbours everyone loves so much, it needs a decent takedown system that allows content creators to control their videos as third parties upload them. The social network has been developing this for a while now, and yesterday formally unveiled Rights Manager, which is basically its version of YouTube’s rights management set-up Content ID.

Rights owners can apply to start using the new Facebook tool, which allows creators to block unapproved uploads of their content, with other functionality such as being able to white list certain pages and profiles which are allowed to use your content, and “specify permitted uses of each video by setting match rules”.

The important bit that is currently missing, however, is the monetisation option that is core to Content ID – ie, if someone uploads your video and has a decent following that might watch it, as a rights owner you can let the video stay but take a cut of any ad revenue subsequent streams generate. Which means Facebook is basically ensuring itself safe harbour protection here – safe harbour law rewrites permitting – while not actually offering a new revenue stream to rights owners in return.

The social media firm is experimenting with different revenue share models for content creators, so that key element will likely be added to Rights Manager down the line. Which means that, as Facebook becomes a serious player in online video, its content management and monetisation system will more closely replicate that of YouTube. Just as the music industry tries to force YouTube to change its system. Good times.