Video Makers Unhappy With Facebook’s Slow Response To Allegedly Pirated Videos

Image courtesy of (Jeremiah Owyang)

Chances are you’ve seen a few of those popular, captivating videos on Facebook — you know, the ones of the cooking demonstrations or the science experiments. While those videos can be fun for you to watch, they’re often part of a longer video that was posted somewhere else first. And the creators behind them don’t enjoy seeing them repurposed by someone else. 

In fact, these video makers say the piracy taking place on Facebook costs them hundreds of dollars, and the social network isn’t doing enough to protect them or their work, the Wall Street Journal reports.

While creators say they’ve bombarded Facebook with requests to take down the so-called “freebooting” videos they claim infringe on their work, it’s a constant back-and-forth to protect their videos.

“I have become so jaded by it and exhausted by it,” the creator of a science experiment says of his attempts to get the social network to remove clips posted without his permission. “It’s a bit like your house is being robbed and you’re on holiday. You’d almost wish you didn’t know so you could enjoy your holiday.”

Another YouTube creator says he spend 36 hours crafting “take down” requests to companies, including Facebook, after posting a snowboarding video that he claims was freebooted at least 200 times.

Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, video creators must flag infringing content to companies — like Facebook — which are then required to respond.

The trouble, creators says, is that these requests to Facebook often take hours or days to be addressed. While that might not seem like a long period of time, in the era of fleeting attention and viral videos, hours can seem like a lifetime.

The WSJ reports that Facebook has elevated its anti-freebooting efforts by testing new rights-management technology, partnering with video content makers, and using third-party technology that “listens” to videos uploaded to the site and checks for matches in a database.

Additionally, the company has expanded the team that responds to “take down” requests, and is now removing pages or profiles that repeatedly upload pirated content.

“Feedback from our partners is essential to creating a robust solution that fits their needs, and we’re committed to providing a comprehensive video management system,” a Facebook spokeswoman said.

The rights-management technology, which is still under development, has hit a few snags, according to the WSJ. At first the system wasn’t able to detect a match if a user recorded a show with a mobile phone and uploaded it to the social network site.

Video creators see Facebook’s progress as a “good-faith effort,” but it’s not quite fast enough and continues to cut into revenue.

“Why would anyone go to YouTube at all if they’re getting their fill of great videos in their Facebook feed with no idea of where that came from?” Hank Green, the creator of YouTube channel “vlogbrothers,” tells the WSJ.

Video Creators Are Frustrated With Pace of Facebook’s Antipirating Efforts [The Wall Street Journal]