Automatic content recognition

Content recognition using proprietary software – Youtube's Content ID system

Google's YouTube has developed a digital fingerprinting system called Content-ID, which is used to efficiently identify and manage copyrighted content on the platform.

The Content-ID system is a comprehensive automatic content recognition system (ACR) that has been in use since 2010, with over 9.000 organisations and individuals depositing over 80 million reference files in the database.

The system analyses the actual perceptual content from multiple perspectives using various fingerprinting systems, making it successful regardless of content format, codec, bitrate, and compression techniques.

The Content-ID system used by YouTube is a closed and proprietary software that requires rightsholders to provide content and metadata to the platform in advance. It is certainly a drawback that it requires content owners to upload their actual content to the platform as well as to provide rights in a redundant and non-portable onboarding process.

Additionally, the system creates a dependence on a closed-source, proprietary central registry of global content. Content-ID is neither available to all media sectors nor content creators, which can lead to major equity and governance issues. Only copyright owners who meet specific criteria are granted access to Content-ID.

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