How much of the content on Youtube is "stolen"?
June 18, 2014 10:11 AM   Subscribe

I am trying to locate studies or cited figures that estimate how much of the content on Youtube is posted without permission or attribution.

I also can't find data about how many DMCA claims are filed and what percentage of those claims result in a video being removed.

I've found various estimates of how much video footage is uploaded or viewed every minute (and similar claims). But I can't find an estimate of how much of that video footage is uploaded by its rightful owners, or how much of the total viewing audience is unknowingly (or even knowingly) watching "stolen" footage.

There are many complications. For example: Music is uploaded by random people, but rather than delete the videos, they are sometimes monetized and the resulting revenue is directed to the legal owners. For the sake of this question, I consider the views before the monetized step to be "stolen" but after the monetized step to be "with permission".

I realize this is a complex question. Thanks for any answers or guidance on how to tackle it.
posted by 99percentfake to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Searching for Viacom's and other lawsuits is going to yield the best results, as their lawyers have already done some of the work for you.

For example, here is what sure seems like an admission that 80% of the site is stolen content, from one of YouTube's co-founders emails back in 2005:

If you remove the potential copyright infringements... site traffic and virality will drop to maybe 20 percent of what it is.

And it seems that even google's own analysts estimated stolen content at about 50%, as recently as 2012:

Google's financial adviser Credit Suisse... estimated that more than 60 percent of YouTube's content was "premium" copyrighted content, and that only 10% of the premium content was authorized.
posted by rada at 11:43 AM on June 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Youtube takedown requests can be found here. But some of those takedown requests are probably for content that is covered by an exception such as fair use, or is just flagged incorrectly.

Some percent of content that's flagged by Content ID is, in fact, fair use in the United States.

Finally, you need to figure out whether what it makes sense to measure is uploads or views. So the original music video might be one upload, and 10 million views, and then there might be 9 user-uploaded infringing copies with 1,500 views each. So, is 90% of that segment infringing, or is about 0.1% infringing.
posted by mercredi at 1:55 PM on June 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'd caution against using any metrics stated by Viacom. Viacom was highly biased in its characterizations (being the opposing party in the lawsuit). Read YouTube's responsive papers that explain why each of Viacom's characterizations was incorrect.
posted by Mallenroh at 2:45 PM on June 18, 2014 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks for these answers, and I certainly understand there of lots of limitations on getting an estimate. I will leave this as "stumped" in case there are any new developments. Again, I appreciate the effort of taking the time to respond.
posted by 99percentfake at 9:12 AM on June 21, 2014

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