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YouTube reveals millions of videos are affected by false copyright claims

YouTube reveals millions of videos are affected by false copyright claims

According to a new report published by the company today, more than 2.2 million YouTube videos were hit with copyright claims that were later reversed between January and June of this year. The Copyright Transparency Report is the first of its kind published by YouTube, which it says will be updated over the next two years.

The 2.2 million wrongful claims represent less than 1 percent of the more than 729 million copyright claims issued in the first half of this year, 99 percent of which originated from YouTube's automated enforcement tool, Content ID. When users disputed these claims, the issue was settled 60 percent of the times in favor of the uploader of the video, according to the report.

Although false copyright claims are largely a drop in the bucket, YouTube creators have long complained about how the platform handles claims, saying overly aggressive or unfair enforcement can lead to a loss of income. Copyright claims may result in video blocking, audio muted, or advertising revenue going back to the rights owner. This new report shapes a problem that YouTube itself has acknowledged needs updating.

In 2019, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said in a blog post that the company listened to creators' concerns and that YouTube was "exploring improvements to strike the right balance between copyright owners and creators."

The new report states that "no system is perfect" and that errors also occur with railings installed to prevent abuse of enforcement mechanisms. "When disputes do occur, the process provided by YouTube provides genuine recourse, and over 60% of these disputes were resolved in favor of the uploader," the report said.

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