The cost of policing digital piracy

The Wired blog runs this piece based on a WSJ article about US company Bay TSP and the work they do for content owners. What strikes me most about the article is the cost and the inefficiency of the whole process. Fair enough humans need to be involved – but $11 an hour for that kind of work. Prime candidate for offshoring. Some clients pay $500,000 a month for Bay’s services!

And classic quotes on the inefficiency of the scheme:

  • “‘By the time I send notices and take them down, they’ll be reposted,’ says [BayTSP analyst] Justin Hernandez…”
  • “When YouTube receives such [takedown request] emails, employees review them and then remove the clips.” 

Whackamole, cat-and-mouse, whatever you want to call it this process of finding copyrighted material and issuing takedowns has to be improved to be in anyway worthwhile for the content owners. In addition, when a service is licensed, the content identification still has to work. All the major labels are now signed up with YouTube and must have or be seeking answers to questions such as  – does the content owner get paid when a member of the public uploads? does YouTube track geography of user? who gets paid when labels have rights for same material in different countries, and so on.  I suspect most labels will be looking to fingerprinting to handle some of this. Whether it can remains to be seen. 

Explore posts in the same categories: Anti-piracy, Music, Video sharing, Video/Film

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