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YouTube: We’ve invested $100 million in Content ID and paid over $3 billion to rightsholders

As part of longstanding efforts to prove that its serious about combating piracy, Google today revealed some updated numbers from across its various digital products. Arguably the most interesting figure from the companys latest How Google Fights Piracy report relates to YouTubes Content ID. Indeed, Google revealed that it has spent more than $100 million on the technology since its inception, including computing resources and staffing, up from $60 million two years ago. And it has also now doled out more than $3 billion to rightsholders, up from over $2 billion in 2016 and $1 billion two years before that. From as far back as 2007, YouTube has offered Content ID — or Video Identification, as it was previously known — which automatically identifies copyrighted content on the video-streaming service and asks the rightsholders what they would like to have happen next. They may choose to monetize the video by showing ads, or they may request that the video be blocked. Earlier this year, YouTube revealed that it would begin using Content ID data to display full music credits and link to the official videos. There are downsides to the automated technology though. For example, a short non-publicly listed video of your kid performing in a school show that just happens to have some barely audible music playing in the background can be targeted by Content ID, with little recourse for appeal. But by and large, the technology serves as an effective way to give copyright holders a say in how their content is used. In its latest report, Google said that 98 percent of copyright claims in 2017 were made through Content ID, and more than 90 percent of Content ID claims lead to some form of monetization.  Additionally, the company noted that it paid out more than $1.8 billion to the music industry in ad revenue from October 2017 to September 2018. This latest PR push comes a month after a new report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) found that despite the growing uptake of legal music-streaming platforms, 38 percent of listeners still consume music through illegal means. One of the most popular methods, according to the report, is so-called stream-ripping, which uses software to record audio from YouTube and other sites. Earlier this year, Denmark became the first country globally to declare stream-ripping illegal and ruled that one site called Convert2MP3 should be blocked by ISPs. Google and its video-streaming subsidiary are somewhat limited in how they can physically stop stream-ripping, short of lawsuits, a course Google has pursued in the past.   But with Content ID, it can exert some control over the content that is uploaded to its platform. The internet has enabled people worldwide to connect, create, and distribute new works of art like never before, noted Googles head of copyright, Cedric Manara, in a blog post. A key part of preserving this creative economy is ensuring creators and artists have a way to share and make money from their content — and preventing the flow of money to those who seek to pirate that content. Elsewhere in Googles latest report, the company said that rightsholders notified the company about 882 million URLs on Google Search last year, with Google removing 95 percent of those that were flagged. It also said that in 2017 it blocked more than 10 million ads it suspected of copyright infringement or that linked to infringing sites. Through continued innovation and partnership, were committed to curtailing infringement by bad actors while empowering the creative communities who make many of the things we love about the internet today, Manara added.

YouTube paid $3 billion to copyright owners through Content ID

Google said its anti-piracy efforts are doing very well. Google has introduced a number of anti-piracy products and measures over the years, and in its latest report, the tech giant has revealed how some those products have been faring. In the paper entitled "How Google Fights Piracy" for 2018, Mountain View said YouTube has already paid $3 billion to copyright owners through Content ID. That's the video platform's system, which scans uploads against a database of files submitted by content owners and creators. When it detects that an upload uses another person's intellectual property, then they can earn from it, as well. Content ID is far from perfect -- some even took advantage of it to claim revenue even when the way the uploader used their IP is supposed to be covered under fair use. YouTube fixed that issue by allowing channel owners to continue earning from their videos even while they're embroiled in a copyright dispute with a claimant. In addition to paying $3 billion to rights holders, Google says YouTube also paid $1.8 billion to the music industry from October 2017 to September 2018 in advertising revenue alone. The tech giant said it invested $100 million into Content ID's development and support. It's part of the company's efforts to ensure customers have legitimate access to content, which doesn't only help drive revenue for creatives, but also helps combat piracy. According to a study by the University of Amsterdam, piracy has been decreasing in recent years, while spending on legitimate content has been on the rise. Aside from making sure creatives and copyright holders are getting money for their work, Google says it's also making an effort to prevent pirates from earning money. It said it has removed 3 billion URLs from Search ever since it released a tool that allowed copyright owners to report illicit websites and pages. Google also disapproved 10 million ads in 2017, which it suspected of linking to infringing websites.