YouTube revamps its copyright claim system for creators

It now requires reporters to specify which part of a video infringes on their copyright.

Those in the business of hosting videos created by the public need to have a solid copyright protection and claim system in place. While YouTube's is far from perfect -- in fact, it's been abused and used to extort creators -- the company has rolled out changes to the system that make it easier to deal with infringement claims. To start with, people manually filing copyright infringement claims must now provide timestamps for the exact part of the videos they're reporting.

To prevent unscrupulous individuals from abusing the system, YouTube says it will revoke a user's access to manual claims if they repeatedly fail to provide accurate manual timestamps. YouTube scans video uploads against a database of files, so its content ID technology can find visual and audio matches. Any possible copyright infringement instances found during that process leads to automated content ID claims -- a "manual claim" is what YouTube calls complaints wherein the copyright owners themselves report the unauthorized use of their property.

The manual claim's recipient will see the timestamp indicated by the reporting party, making it much easier to figure out which part of the video to edit. If they do choose to alter their video instead of disputing the claim, they can use YouTube's updated editing tools to address the issue. Creators can now easily mute all sounds for the time-stamped segment or swap out the music with one of the platform's free-to-use songs from its Audio Library.

Finally, they can trim out that segment completely if they believe that's the best course of action. YouTube says it will continue beefing up its editing tools and will eventually give creators a way to trim claimed segments with just a single click. "Our work won't stop here. We're always looking to find ways to improve the creator copyright experience while also balancing the rights of copyright owners," Julian Bill, YouTube's Product Manager, wrote. The changes YouTube has rolled out already make dealing with copyright claims a lot less painful, but we hope the other features it comes up with can help make the experience even better.