Business News Digital

Vimeo launches ContentID-style system

By | Published on Friday 23 May 2014


YouTube competitor Vimeo is launching a new initiative called Copyright Match, which is similar to its main rival’s ContentID system, designed to help music rights owners monitor and block the use of their audio content within the videos of third parties.

YouTube – for all the dissing it is getting from the music community today – was a pioneer when it came to developing technology that monitors the soundtracks to videos being uploaded to its servers looking for copyright material being used without licence.

In part designed to help YouTube comply with the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act which provides protection for tech firms who inadvertently enable others to infringe (though to be fair, ContentID goes some way beyond YouTube’s commitments under American law), if a rights owner sees a third party using its music on the video site, it can either choose to take a cut of the ad money associated with the clip, or have the video blocked.

Vimeo, which has never had aspirations to become an ad-funded network that buys in content, but rather sees itself as a distribution service for video-makers, has been much less proactive in developing tools to help music rights owners seek out unlicensed use of their tracks on its platform. Which has led to long running litigation in the US between the labels and the Vimeo company.

But Copyright Match, developed with Audible Magic, might begin to placating the record industry. Although not as robust, from the music companies’ standpoint, as ContentID – in that it involves the video-maker in the process more, and seems more open to claims of ‘fair use’ – it should make it easier for rights owners to police use of their music on the video site.

Video-makers who find that their work can’t get past Copyright Match because of their soundtracks will be pointed to music that is cheap or free to licence via Vimeo’s own music store or via Audible Magic.

While you might assume Copyright Match is a direct result of the record industry’s long-running legal battle with the video site, when talking about the new venture to Billboard, Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor said that further growth of the company’s video-maker community had promoted the new initiative.

Trainor: “This is a constantly evolving area, in terms of creativity – we really want to educate creators on the boundaries of fair use and the ways in which music and other material can and can’t be used, and offer as many solutions as we can. We want to empower people who want to use music to do so, with full understanding of what’s allowed under the law”.