An EU Copyright Directive, which passed last year, will require online service providers to upload a filter similar to YouTube’s Content ID system, but what exactly does the proposed system consist of? Well, at first sight, the $100m system is a voluntary tool which enables right holders to claim audio or video content as well as providing an option of either censoring the infringing content or simply making profit from it. The idea appears reasonable; however some serious issues arise with it, making it unsuitable for expansion into any other similar platforms. The main problem being that the system holds virtually no protection against ‘copyfraud’. In this instance fraudsters are enabled to claim right over other artist’s creations, in a careless manner. In the case of YouTube, users can also be blackmailed over copy strike of their own work, which is unfortunate as three strikes of that kind will remove the artist’s channel and videos, without right to appeal.
This Directive therefore sets up a system which prohibits the enforcement of those who abuse its aims and steal from other artists and instead only focuses on the permanent policing of those who are actually accused of copyright infringement. Penalties have been set in place, by the Directive, for any platforms allowing copyrighted work to be uploaded after said work has already been claimed by a right holder. The underlying issue with the latter is of course that right holders have been explicitly known to have made false claims, in the past, over the ownership of the work.
If that was not enough to portray the EU Directive in a negative light, it was also found out that 10 MEP’s admitted to getting confused with pushing the wrong button during the vote, and considering the Directive squeezed through by five votes, the outcome would have differed had the confusion not occurred.
The ID content system is one which is hospitable to copy fraudsters. The EU Directive which is set to implement the ID content system also faces backlash and only time will tell how this system will affect all other service platforms, such as YouTube.
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Written by Lora Krasteva who is a law student at Solent University