YouTube, in particular, has come in for intense criticism, with the music industry complaining of exploitation of the DMCA in order to obtain unfair streaming rates from record labels. Along with streaming-ripping, this so-called Value Gap is one of the industry’s hottest topics.
With rightsholders seemingly at war with Google to varying degrees, news from France suggests that progress can be made if people sit down and negotiate.
According to local reports, Google and local anti-piracy outfit ALPA (l’Association de Lutte Contre la Piraterie Audiovisuelle) under the auspices of the CNC have signed an agreement to grant rightsholders direct access to content takedown mechanisms on YouTube.
YouTube has granted access to its Content ID systems to companies elsewhere for years but the new deal will see the system utilized by French content owners for the first time. It’s hoped that the access will result in infringing content being taken down or monetized more quickly than before.
“We do not want fraudsters to use our platforms to the detriment of creators,” said Carlo D’Asaro Biondo, Google’s President of Strategic Relationships in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The agreement, overseen by the Ministry of Culture, will see Google provide ALPA with financial support and rightsholders with essential training.
ALPA president Nicolas Seydoux welcomed the deal, noting that it symbolizes the “collapse of the wall of incomprehension” that previously existed between France’s rightsholders and the Internet search giant.
The deal forms part of the French government’s “Plan of Action Against Piracy”, in which it hopes to crack down on infringement in various ways, including tackling the threat of pirate sites, better promotion of services offering legitimate content, and educating children “from an early age” on the need to respect copyright.
“The fight against piracy is the great challenge of the new century in the cultural sphere,” said France’s Minister of Culture, Françoise Nyssen.
“I hope this is just the beginning of a process. It will require other agreements with rights holders and other platforms, as well as at the European level.”
According to NextInpact, the Google agreement will eventually encompass the downgrading of infringing content in search results as part of the Trusted Copyright Removal Program. A similar system is already in place in the UK.