How Europe plans to protect your content from piracy

When YouTube launched in 2005, its purpose was for users to post interesting and original content that others might like to see. No one expected it to rival traditional TV as an entertainment channel.

In fact, Google reports that on mobile alone, YouTube reaches more 18 to 49-year-olds than any broadcast or cable TV network. And its 1.5 billion YouTube users worldwide are consuming over 500 million hours of video every day.

However, with this explosion of online video comes the growth of pirated content. For example, YouTube online infringers upload content that they haven’t produced or received permission to share. In today’s culture of remixing and sampling, this could include snippets of music, video or pictures, as well as the full content.

Article 13 of the Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on copyright in the Digital Single Market attempts to address this by tackling copyright infringements at the point of upload. The essence of this directive is to protect and reimburse the rightsholders by ensuring that platforms such as YouTube:

• Make best efforts to obtain authorization for use of copyrighted material,
• Make sure that unauthorized content isn’t available if they have been given this information previously, and
• Act expeditiously to remove unauthorized content following a notice.

The European Commission hopes that the new directive will encourage freedom of expression, give consumers access to music and films which are no longer available in Europe and allow internet users to upload copyrighted material legally. This agreement between the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the Commission comes after two-and-a-half years of negotiation, but the new rules still need to be confirmed in a final Parliament vote in March or April this year.

It remains to be seen how the European Parliament will vote later in the year, but in the meantime, you can employ several best practices to help keep your content safe. These include leveraging the right technology, designing programs specific to your IP and social media and educating your audience on where to find authorized content.

Here are a few of those best practices in more detail:

Use the Right Tools. Many of these platforms have their own tools to help fight piracy. For example, Facebook Rights Manager is a sophisticated tool that helps identify, remove and help monetize content on the platform. Having someone help manage this tool for you can make your life easier and ensure it is functioning correctly. You also need tools that can directly scan these platforms looking for pirated material. Ideally, you would use a vendor who partners with these sites. These partnerships can make your efforts much more efficient by providing better access than what you would get by searching from the outside.

Make Your Own Rules. You are in charge of your own content and should have rules in place that reflect your priorities. Tailoring your program to your business needs can offer clarity on enforcing, monetizing, and all the other issues that can derail a program. By making sure that you have clear rules of engagement on each platform, and that both you and your vendor are in sync, can make a powerful one-two punch for removing pirated content.

Educate Your Audience. With pirated content growing on social platforms, the need to educate your audience is key. Make sure they know what authorized pages exist and how they can access your legitimate content. By sharing this information as openly and widely as possible on these sites, you can decrease the chance that someone might accidently find themselves on a unauthorized page, or convert someone who might seek that content elsewhere.

MarkMonitor tools allow you, as a content owner or rightsholder, to glean insights about how your content is being accessed and consumed online in order to help drive your protection strategy. Learn more about these solutions here.