Facebook Launches Video Rights Manager To Combat 'Freebooting' And Copyright Issues: Here's The Deal


Facebook officially rolled out Rights Manager, its proprietary variant of YouTube's Content ID.

The service acts as an admin tool for Pages, which allows content creators to upload video clips that they want to have exclusivity on. Facebook does the heavy lifting by monitoring how many copies of these videos were posted on its pages and it notifies the copyright owners of the clips.  

With the help of Rights Manager, Facebook reports those who share copyrighted content for personal gain and notifies the original publisher.

The tool emerged as a necessity, following the plague of stolen videos that pop up on the social network.

A number of business-oriented pages use YouTube videos, TV clips or content from other pages to increase fan engagement, but fail to indicate the source where the material was taken from.

This practice is dubbed "freebooting" and it causes understandable irritation to video makers and marketers alike.

Even though Rights Manager is not open for public use yet, owners of video content can already apply to join the program.

There is a consistent flexibility packed in the Rights Manager. Depending on the number of times a video was copied, or what Page used it without consent, or the number of views it received, owners can take different actions. A publisher may choose to whitelist certain Pages that have permission to utilize its videos.

A monitoring option for Live Video exists, making sure that people do not rebroadcast pay-per-view content, such as a boxing match, for example. The rebroadcasting is possible on rival services, such as Twitter's Periscope, which angered a part of the industry.

Two control options exist for Rights Manager: the dashboard is useful for smaller entities, while a specially designed API gives big media companies' extensive control over their content.

A major difference between Facebook's service and Content ID from YouTube is that the latter allows content owners to leave freebooted videos up while earning money off of them. The social media company already has a system in place where ad revenue is divided between the video content owner and Facebook. Of course, this implies that the video has ads embedded, which is not always the case with video clips.

Facebook marketed itself as rather soft on content rights. Some speculate that this is the reason why the rights to stream NFL football games went to Twitter instead of Zuckerberg's venture.

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