Facebook to crack down on pirated videos

A new tool aims to find matches of video content owned by select creators

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Credit: Zach Miners

Facebook is improving its technology to better identify videos uploaded to its site without the permission of copyright holders.

The move comes amid an explosion in the amount of video viewed on Facebook, posted by regular users, publishers and advertisers alike. 

Alongside the uptick in video content, copyright holders have complained about videos posted without their permission. A recent report by video marketing and social media consulting companies Tubular and Social@Ogilvy estimated that a majority of the most popular videos on Facebook were pirated.

On Thursday, Facebook said it would be deploying new video matching technology that will be available to a small group of partners. The tool, Facebook said, will let select media companies, multichannel networks and individual video creators identify matches of their videos posted across Pages, profiles, groups and geographies on the site.

The tool will evaluate millions of video uploads quickly. When matches surface, publishers will be able to report them to Facebook for removal, the company said in a blog post.

Facebook has already been using a system called Audible Magic that uses audio fingerprinting technology to identify and prevent unauthorized videos from making their way to the site.

But the video matching tool, currently in beta, is a new step in Facebook's broader efforts to establish a content ID system akin to what YouTube uses to quickly identify copyright violations.

On YouTube, copyright owners have the option of running ads against videos that the video sharing site has identified as matches.

Facebook's system is in its early stages. But as the social network broadens its availability, it could serve a vital function for growing Facebook's video advertising business.

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