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Facebook in the News

Loyal readers of this blog will recall previous posts on sites that host content trying to figure out how to navigate copyright laws and the DMCA.¬†With that background firmly memorized, what do you make of this article from Engadget regarding Facebook’s plans to identify and manage copyrighted content that users upload?¬†

YouTube isn’t the only site record labels are taking issue with when it comes to copyright infringement. Financial Times reports that music publishers want Facebook to license music that gets posted on its site and take down any user-submitted videos that contain copyrighted content. The first step is said to be handling all the copyrighted material that’s posted to the site’s News Feed in the form of cover songs and other footage. As part of the effort, Facebook is said to be working on a copyright identification system, similar to YouTube’s Content ID, to help police what’s published.

How would the DMCA apply here? What other information would you need to know in order to analyze that? It is also interesting to note Facebook’s plans after it develops its “copyright identification system.” (And do you see any technical challenges with that?)

Financial Times explains that once the ID system is in place, Facebook will work with record labels on a licensing deal for all the music that’s available on the site. Those talks are said to be in the early stages and a final agreement isn’t expected before this spring.

In generating tools and policy, will Facebook be able to use YouTube as an example? The article continues:

The music industry has been taking issue with YouTube for years, claiming that the site doesn’t adequately compensate artists and rights holders for the content it hosts. Earlier this month, the video site announced that it paid $1 billion in ad revenue to the music industry in the last year. Facebook has revenue deals in place with publishers, but doesn’t currently have any licensing agreements for music. As you might expect, labels want a piece of that ad money like they’re receiving from YouTube for having their music available to users.

What does this article mean by “Facebook has revenue deals in place with publishers, but currently does not have any licensing agreements for music?” Publishers of what? What do the deals cover, if not licensing?

The whole article is worth a read, and there is no doubt that this story will be covered thoroughly elsewhere as well.


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