Music Business

Vimeo’s Innovative “Copyright Match” System Seeks To Balance Rights and Fair Use

Audible_magicIn a move designed to protect rights holders while honoring fair use, yesterday Vimeo introduced their new "Copyright Match" system. The new system flags uploaded content for possible use of others' work using Audible Magic's audio "fingerprints." If you're using that work with permission or believe it falls under fair use, you can immediately appeal. Vimeo's emphasis on quick communication and direct appeals reveals a willingness to commit additional funds to support both rights holders, licensees and creators who rely on fair use.

Vimeo's announcement is quite thorough and informative as such important news to creators and rights holders should be. Regarding how Copyright Match differs from other content id systems:

"Similar copyright-detecting systems are already in place on other video and audio-sharing platforms, but they’ve proven to be double-edged swords."

"On the one hand, these systems help protect artists by cutting down on infringing uses of their works. Which is a good thing! On the other hand, the systems can stifle creativity by blocking material that’s being used with permission or that qualifies as a 'fair use' under copyright law."

Here's how Copyright Match works using Audible Magic's content recognition:

"When you upload a video to Vimeo, Copyright Match 'fingerprints' a sample of its audio to see if it matches that of certain third-party copyrighted material, such as songs, movies, and TV shows."

"If we find a match, we’ll present you with a few simple options. If you believe your video follows our guidelines, you can quickly and easily appeal the match by providing Vimeo’s moderators with more information. You can tell us that you’re using the material with permission, that your use of the material is protected by 'fair use' …or that our Copyright Match system made a mistake."

"You also have the option to replace the video file, delete the video, or, in the case where a music match is detected, swap the audio with a track from the Vimeo Music Store."

They have quite a bit more to say about both privacy and fair use. A variety of related materials are available from Vimeo:

Vimeo Guidelines

Fair Use

FAQ: Legal Stuff

Vimeo is taking a positive proactive approach to a serious issue for creators. Hopefully their investment in a semi-automated system, which includes human help, will pay off for everyone involved.


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) posts music crowdfunding news @CrowdfundingM. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

Share on: