Thursday, February 18, 2016

How to steal people's ad revenue from YouTube

The copyright flagging system in YouTube is completely broken in its design, and there's forming a massive protest campaign for Google to fix it. Here is one example of how hideously broken the system is: How to steal somebody's ad revenue.

It works simply like this: Make a DMCA claim on somebody's video. YouTube will give you several options about what to do about it. One of them is to redirect the video's monetization to yourself. You don't have to actually prove that you own any rights to that video. It's all automatized, and you will get the monetization automatically.

The owner of the video can dispute the claim. However, you don't have to do anything about it. If you don't make your claim into an actual DMCA strike, your claim will hold for an entire month. During this month it will be you who receives all the ad revenue from the video.

After the one month, the claim is automatically removed. You get to keep the money. No questions asked. No repercussions. Nothing. Congratulations, you got somebody else's month-long ad revenue for yourself, for free, and without repercussions. And you don't need to own any rights whatsoever to the video in question.

The solution to this problem would be really simple: During a DMCA claim, where the claimant is requesting the ad revenue for the video, said revenue should go to a neutral account. Once the claim has been resolved, the money is returned to whichever party won the claim. This way it's impossible to steal people's ad revenue with false DMCA claims.

But apparently Google doesn't care.

"Don't be evil" my ass.

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