Vimeo Updates Copyright Match Policy – Allows Copyrighted Music In Private Videos

Vimeo has quietly updated its Copyright Match policies to allow copyrighted music in private videos on the platform. But there’s a catch…

You may remember that last week Vimeo integrated content recognition software into their platform, calling it Copyright Match. Videos uploaded to the site are now scanned for third-party copyrighted music by a company called Audible Magic (that is also partnered with Soundcloud, Facebook, and many other similar services) in an attempt to protect artists whose songs are being used on the platform without permission.

As we’ve already detailed, if copyrighted music is detected, Vimeo will ask you to send them proof of licensing to one of their moderators. If you can’t, then you can either delete/replace the video, or add a royalty-free track from Vimeo’s library of self-licensed music.

However, with the recent quiet update there’s a new way to get around the system. If you subscribe to a paid Vimeo plan, you can avoid Copyright Match completely by uploading your video privately. By limiting distribution of the video, Vimeo PRO ($59.95 per year) and PLUS ($199 per year) subscribers can continue to showcase their work as originally intended – Only with a much smaller network of people.

This seems like a logical step to make and will certainly simplify things for their paid customers. But even if the video is private, by uploading and allowing others to watch the video it’s still technically copyright infringement. YouTube’s ContentID system scans all content uploaded to the website, including private and unlisted videos for this very reason.

However, Vimeo have stated they are trying to move away from the mistakes made by other content recognition systems like Content ID, and this may be the first of many attempts to make their newly introduced system more friendly for creators.

The company has also confirmed they are working on allowing private videos by all users to bypass Copyright Match – Not just videos uploaded by their paying customers.

Stephen Doble

From his London office, Stephen leads our new media industry coverage at Videoter.

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