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Vimeo rolls out Copyright Match to find and remove illegal videos

Vimeo rolls out Copyright Match to find and remove illegal videos

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Vimeo went many, many years without an automated copyright tool akin to YouTube's Content ID, but today the free-for-all is over. The video site has launched Copyright Match, a system that it says has been designed to "respect the boundaries of copyright law and the rights of other creators." In a blog post, Vimeo notes that its website exists to showcase original work and has never been a home for pirated content like TV show rips, movie screeners, and professional sports broadcasts.

Copyright Match is intended to help enforce those guidelines as Vimeo keeps growing and offering new features like Vimeo On Demand — which allows viewers to pay creators for their films directly. So it's easy to see why the company is taking new steps to keep stolen or reproduced content off the site. The system automatically captures an audio "fingerprint" from a portion of your video and looks for a potential copyright match. If it finds one, you'll get an email alerting you of the problem.

But Vimeo is fully aware of the controversies and headaches caused by YouTube's own implementation. Though the blog post doesn't specify Google's video sharing hub by name, it describes other copyright matching solutions as "double-edged swords." The company realizes it's all too easy for videos to get flagged and removed even when copyrigted material has been used with permission or falls under fair use. To avoid mistakes wherever possible, Vimeo says video creators can appeal false matches and explain that they've obtained necessary permissions. They can also replace audio that's triggered a music match with a selection from Vimeo's music store.