Pirated Movies On YouTube Again? | Google’s Content ID System Clearly Isn’t Foolproof

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Pirate Skull and BonesYouTube is clean, legal, and above board these days, with Google having done all it can to rid the site of copyrighted content. But is it enough or have some canny users found a way to sneak pirated movies back on to the site?

Content ID System

YouTube was absolutely awash with pirated movies and TV shows at one point, very early in its life. This is the reason various companies, most-notably Viacom, sued YouTube for a fortune. But Google voraciously cleaned YouTube up, and most media companies are now on board.

The Content ID system, which automatically detects the presence of copyrighted content when its digital fingerprint is provided, has helped immensely. But it’s not perfect, and some piracy is still occurring on the world’s most-popular online video destination.

Pirated Movies On YouTube

It has been claimed that at least 25 movies, including recent releases such as Cars 2 and Fast 5, were available to watch on YouTube in their entirety until the end of last week. Now, probably not, as the issue has been brought to YouTube’s attention and the site is no doubt doing all it can to rectify the situation.

How long these videos had been up is anyone’s guess, but 500,000 views for some suggests more than just a few hours. These weren’t great copies, however, instead having been recorded from a DVD or cammed from within a cinema. Which would indicate an amateur effort to say the least.

Still, with software enabling people to download videos from YouTube, this could have helped hundreds of thousands of individuals to avoid paying to see a film.


I’m not convinced this is a new issue, as has been suggested. Instead, I suspect this has been happening since YouTube disabled the video length upload limits for trusted users. From that point on any one of these people could upload a pirated movie to YouTube, as long as they were willing to risk being banned from the site.

Still, regardless of how long this has been happening, the fact remains that it has shown up some issues with Google’s Content ID system. It clearly isn’t a foolproof way of ensuring copyrighted material doesn’t make its way onto the site.

[Via PC Magazine]

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