Since Google’s acquisition of it back in 2006, Youtube has always been a bit of an opaque organisation. Getting through to support has never been easy and often changes are made without much consultation with the content creators. Lately that lack of transparency is causing real problems for some video makers, who have found themselves unable to monetise videos with no warning whatsoever.[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bC3NIdiZF_E’]
The problem seems to stem from the age old copyright claims being made against videos, or channels, though it doesn’t always appear to be for copyrighted video. While Channel Awesome lost access to its monetisation for a dispute with Japanese animation firm, Studio Ghibli, others it seems got in trouble for just using still images – despite both being easily protected by fair use law.[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mld4GYqbX3c’]
In some cases though it’s not just the ability to put adverts on videos that has been halted either. Channel Awesome also had its videos limited to just 15 minutes a piece and had many of the back-end, advanced features of channel management locked. The I Hate Everything channel was deleted by Youtube altogether.[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH-8PqS84qA’]
Fortunately through the support and publicising of many other content creators, he got it back, but not everyone has been so lucky to receive a quick turnaround. Others have been facing weeks with no response from Youtube about their complaints. While that’s not a huge deal for those that use Youtube as a hobby, for many people making videos is their job. If they can’t make money from it, they can’t pay their bills.[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlwpODdXOrg’]
It’s a difficult situation of course, because as big as Youtube is, it receives hundreds of thousands of DMCA requests every single day. That means that there is just no way a human can go through and check all of them, there has to be some automation, but with automation comes mistakes and Youtube just doesn’t correct them quickly enough. Worst still, it doesn’t trust content creators enough, so when they are hit with one copyright claim, they can lose monetisation on everything.
That certainly needs to change.
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KitGuru Says: It wouldn’t be that hard to put a trust rating on accounts. Once they’ve gone a certain amount of time, or have posted a certain number of videos without DMCA complaints, they should get a pass if someone files a complaint against them, or at least warrant a more detailed look at the video in question. At the very least, Youtube should only down that video, rather than killing the monetisation of the entire channel.