YouTube counterpart Vimeo has taken steps to thwart copy-written material from appearing on their site. Simply referred to as Copyright Match, Vimeo’s system subjects uploaded content to a scanning algorithm that attempts to pick up on any conflicts of interest, like clips of movies or songs not intended for free use.
The reason for this change is scale, where Vimeo points out that over time their service has grown too much for the personal touch. Touching on their uploading guidelines, wherein users were using a copyright honor system of sorts, Vimeo said “Over the last nine years, Vimeo has grown into one of the most visited video destinations in the world. We now have more than 26 million registered members, with over 170 million people swinging by monthly to watch awesome videos. At our size, we need a semi-automated system to help us enforce those beloved guidelines.”
Copyright Match is pretty simple, too. Once a video is uploaded, Vimeo takes what they call a “fingerprint” of your content to compare to the Copyright database. If you have content found to be in violation, Vimeo will give you a few options to proceed. If you can prove that you’re using the content with permission, or that it falls under “fair use” statutes, you can move on. You can also change the content in question, or take the video down.
Vimeo promises more changes are coming, with the mindshare around protecting existing users who upload content. There are similar scanning functions in place elsewhere, but Vimeo thinks they’ve hit a strong balance between what’s fair to users and what’s best for content providers. Time will tell if they’re right or not.