YouTube revamps content ID, defaults to DMCA in case of unresolved disputes

YouTube’s (s GOOG)  Content ID program, which allows rights holders to either monetize or take down their content, just received a significant tweak: The video hosting site added a more comprehensive appeals process that could help uploaders confronted with unjustified take-down notices. YouTube also said that it has improved its algorithms to detect false take-down notices, which could reduce the risk of automated mass take-downs.

From the blog post announcing the changes:

“Users have always had the ability to dispute Content ID claims on their videos if they believe those claims are invalid. Prior to today, if a content owner rejected that dispute, the user was left with no recourse for certain types of Content ID claims (e.g., monetize claims). Based upon feedback from our community, today we’re introducing an appeals process that gives eligible users a new choice when dealing with a rejected dispute. When the user files an appeal, a content owner has two options: release the claim or file a formal DMCA notification.”

Content ID is a program used by YouTube to automate the take-down process of unlicensed content. The program has been in place for four years, and YouTube said Wednesday that it has been used by more than 3,000 content owners, who have supplied the site with more than 300,000 reference files.

A reference file could, for example, be a copy of a song owned by a record label. Once the label uploads the song to YouTube, it can decide if it wants to take down videos that use the song without its permission or monetize that content by participating in YouTube’s advertising revenue.

Adding the DMCA to this set of tools could have two significant effects: It could help uploaders defend the use of third-party material when it is covered by fair-use exemptions – and it could help YouTube to convince more content owners to go down the path of monetization. After all, why chose the hard path when the easier one actually helps you to make money?