May 22, 2014

Vimeo Uploads With Copyright Material Will Now Be Flagged Automatically, Even If It's Licensed

vimeo[Update: Private videos for Plus/PRO users will not be scanned. Read about the policy update here.] You may already be familiar with YouTube's copyright protection software, which scans all uploads to make sure that no copyrighted video or audio is being used without permission. While Vimeo had similar restrictions against copyrighted material in place, the process had to be done by hand, and thus most people didn't have a problem using popular music on their videos without permission. That's all about to change very soon as Vimeo has announced Copyright Match, which will flag any and all videos found to be using copyrighted material -- unlicensed or not.

Firstly, if you're wondering why now, they've always discouraged using unlicensed material of any kind:

The first rule of Vimeo has always been: upload only your own videos. Vimeo is a home for original work — not for rips of movies, TV shows, music videos, and sports broadcasts. We encourage creativity and innovation, and we always want to respect everyone who expresses themselves artistically.

Over the last nine years, Vimeo has grown into one of the most visited video destinations in the world. We now have more than 26 million registered members, with over 170 million people swinging by monthly to watch awesome videos. At our size, we need a semi-automated system to help us enforce those beloved guidelines.

How Copyright Match Will Work for Vimeo Uploads

[Update] Here is more information about the appeals process:

If the Copyright Match system detects third-party copyrighted material it will halt the upload and present you with a few options: appeal, swap out the music, or replace/delete the video file. If you choose to appeal, the video will be available for most users while the appeal is pending. If the appeal is denied, the video is deleted. We've worked hard to make the entire process as easy to use and efficient as possible, but we will definitely be happy for feedback once you've experienced it.

Vimeo will email you if they find a match, and then you will have some options (from their blog post):

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” (more on that below), 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. (By the way, we’re working to expand our library of licensable music, so stay tuned. Pun completely intended.)

Here are some keep facts to keep in mind based on reading some questions/answers in the comments section:

  • It doesn't matter if the video is private or not, it will still go through the Copyright Match software.
  • Demo reels that have copyrighted music will get flagged just like everything else, and this probably wouldn't qualify as fair use.
  • At the moment they are not scanning videos that have already been uploaded, just new videos, so your current work is safe for now.
  • They don't have anything in place yet to cut down on flags if you happen to license music through companies like The Music Bed, Song Freedom, Marmoset Music, and Premium Beat, but they plan on it in the future. This means if those companies ever register works through Audible Match, the Copyright Match software maker, you'll have to go through the process of proving that you licensed the tracks. It doesn't seem like this is a problem yet, so hopefully it stays that way. (Premium Beat confirmed that they do not.)

We'll come back to fair use in a minute, but the key difference between YouTube and Vimeo is that YouTube gives copyright holders the option to monetize videos that are using video or audio without permission. This is not an option with Vimeo, so these videos will simply be blocked, or if only copyright music is detected, you can replace the audio track with one from the Vimeo Music Store. The cynical person might see this as a way to steer more people into the Vimeo Music Store, but copyright holders have been putting serious pressure on the company to develop a better way of detecting non-licensed material, so this was bound to happen sooner or later.

The Issue of Fair Use

While it seems like their appeals process (which is handled only by humans) might not be that bad for material you have licensed properly, how long that process will take is a whole other matter, especially if you're trying to argue for something under fair use. What qualifies as fair use? Vimeo has updated their Q&A section with some clarifications on the murky waters of fair use, which is usually defined by these four factors:

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes.
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work.
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

I don't claim to be an expert on this, but where Vimeo has been a great alternative to YouTube is in cases where extensive copyrighted video has been used for educational purposes. For example, this 30 minute analysis of the film Prisoners was blocked by YouTube in most territories, but is viewable by pretty much everyone since it has been uploaded to Vimeo (unless Vimeo itself happens to be blocked where you live). Warning, there are spoilers ahead:

Coming from an educational and non-profit-seeking standpoint, it should absolutely fall under fair use, but we'll see if Vimeo staff feels the same way when the Copyright Match service starts flagging these videos for containing copyrighted material.

Using Unlicensed Copyrighted Material Temporarily

There are definitely going to be snags in the appeals process as it gets started, but one of the biggest potential issues I see is for client work. If you upload a private video with some temp music or clips that you intend on taking out or licensing in the final product (but have not done so yet), it will still go through the Copyright Match system. Videos like this would very rarely qualify as fair use, so you're not going to be able to use that material, even if the video is never made public. This will be especially difficult if you enjoyed using Vimeo to test out lots of rough cuts with tracks you don't have permission to use.

What's ironic is that plenty of this sort of thing goes on in Hollywood, where unlicensed material is used in pitches or in rough cuts (I've seen lots of this first-hand). Some of it might qualify as fair use, but the majority of it likely does not. Either way, unless you want some added headaches, it's probably best to just avoid doing this altogether, especially if you're on a tight deadline and don't want to deal with an appeals process -- though you may have to even with licensed tracks that happen to be in the system.

How Will It All Play Out?

Where Vimeo's solution might hopefully excel above YouTube's implementation is when you have been given permission to use music by an artist. These cases might be flagged repeatedly by YouTube, but the process to appeal them on Vimeo seems simple enough, and a human will actually look at it. If Vimeo accepts your explanation for the permission given, the responsibility would then be with you to know whether this artist actually has permission to let you use their music (this isn't always the case, especially with bands signed to big labels). The success of Copyright Match will depend a lot on how Vimeo staff handles the appeals.

So what if you want to prevent your own content from being used by others on the service? You can register with the same system that Vimeo is using, Audible Magic. I have no experience with that system, so I don't know how easy it will be to register, but at least the option is there if you are greatly concerned about people ripping off your material.

While I think there is plenty of innocent material uploaded for fun that uses unlicensed material, it's no longer going to be allowed on Vimeo, regardless of what it is (as long as it's in the database). Will this be the case in practice? That remains to be seen, especially since there is no way to know how accurate the system will be detecting copyright material, and how big the database actually is. There may very well be lots of material that is not in the Audible Magic system yet, and therefore will not be flagged.

With how much unlicensed copyright material is already in uploaded videos, it will be interesting if they eventually use Copyright Match for everything that's ever been put on the site. I'm sure we'd see a lot of content go offline immediately, even some Staff Picks.

What do you think about these changes? Will they affect the work that you do? If you've dealt with the YouTube process, what has your experience been like? How do you think Vimeo could improve this process for those who license or have permission to use a lot of material that may be flagged? Let us know below.

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Your Comment

119 Comments

It is the beginning of the end. I had so many licensed music being flagged as copyright infringement in YouTube and companies claiming infringement when they just didn't like the content.
I hope Vimeo will have a more balanced approach. When any agency can issue takedown notices without valid proof and not be fined for it, is time to create a new platform.

May 22, 2014 at 6:19AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Tulio

Dammit... I need to start making money from my videos before I can pay for music, instead of just over using the same free tracks, I don't believe my videos exploits the music, I'm not making money off vimeo, and I send the watcher straight to itunes or to the official video to buy the track, sure it might be growing an audience for me but I licence music for paying jobs. There're so many DJ's these days playing tracks they never intend on paying for at high paying parties and clubs and yet no one seems to care.

May 22, 2014 at 6:56AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Marty

Ya, sorry Vimeo, but I am taking my automatic account renewal off now.
If I buy at track for $60 from Premium beat then have to prove to you that I bought it delaying the delivery while a "real human" has to respond to the enquiry. How long will that take and how will they differentiate between someone uploading a home movie and a pro as i'm sure we will all just be in the "appeal cue". This is a deal breaker.
I think the majority of the Pro's and Independents use Vimeo to send rough cuts and show off Reels - Vimeo are going to kill their market and people like me will go to cloud based systems like Dropbox or Google drive to transport videos to clients. its a pity because it is the one sight that doesn't ruin your video completely with compression and at least they dont have to download it.
Sad news. The Music Industry is fighting a losing battle and wants to take everyone down with them... time to think out of the box guys.

May 22, 2014 at 7:45AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Troy

+1

May 22, 2014 at 8:56AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Raúl

Hey Troy,

We have the same concerns as you with this new Vimeo policy. It is especially unfortunate that this system is going to flag videos that are private. However, for no reason whatsoever should PremiumBeat music be flagged. So if you are using our music it will not slow down your editing or delivery process whatsoever.

Caleb Ward
Premiumbeat.com

P.S. Our tracks are only $39 not $60. :)

May 22, 2014 at 9:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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"I think the majority of the Pro’s and Independents use Vimeo to send rough cuts and show off Reels"

For a platform that focuses on professional collaboration, vimeo's video quality SUCKS.

We use unlisted and/or private youtube links to show stuff. It does 4k, accepts prores, and uploads and performs faster.

May 22, 2014 at 4:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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john jeffries

Here's a little something I posted elsewhere... how about instead of wasting money on the defensive, blocking music with matching algorithms they instead spend that time and effort on developing a useful system/API that helps creators & encourages the licensing of music from their database/s!

Every video distribution platform, website and blog could then tap in to this API/Plugin for legitimate licensing.

* Preview with a watermark in LQ
* One click purchase of HQ without watermark
* Variable pricing dependent upon parameters such as what parts of the song are used, where it's being used etc
* Links/ties to iTunes, Spotify etc

If small companies like Getty & Envato can do much of this, they bloody well can too.

I don't feel I can lay the blame at the feet of the creators when everything we buy or subscribe to (hardware, software or service) is now designed to work at the speed of thought; making production a quicker, easier & more creative process.

You've got filmmakers producing incredible work in 24 hour competitions by learning & exploring online, combined with great paid resources like sound fx and visual fx packs from the likes of Andrew Kramer but then music rears it's head as an ugly complex road block.

Consumer piracy is shrinking because companies like Apple & Spotify showed the record companies the way. They should have enough experience by now to start leading in this 'new' age.

May 22, 2014 at 7:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Darrell

did you really just call Getty a "small" company? really?!

I don't understand your workflow either. So filmmakers would decide on a soundtrack and edit with what? overdubbed samples? To then pay for the license when they upload it to Vimeo? Why wouldn't they pay for it when they choose it and download it?

Or are you suggesting they edit with whatever they want and when it's recognized on upload, then they have to pay the license? Which still presents the problem that you don't know if that piece of content is even available for license.

I personally don't understand Vimeo's move here. They much have been at the tail end of some legal stick wrangling recently. While I understand their desire to protect themselves and their site from people using unlicensed, copyrighted content, their workflow is unacceptable.

It feels like Apple's App Store. You need to develop, test, correct and test again before uploading to their servers....THEN finding out if they will accept it.

May 22, 2014 at 12:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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sean

"I don’t understand your workflow either. So filmmakers would decide on a soundtrack and edit with what? overdubbed samples? To then pay for the license when they upload it to Vimeo? Why wouldn’t they pay for it when they choose it and download it?"

Come on man, this is not new ground. The standard workflow when using stuff from Envato/AudioJungle is to download the preview version with the watermark, edit with it, and then purchase it for the final version. Music choices change all the time through the edit so it's a waste of money to license a piece that ends up not being used. Every company I've worked with does this.

May 22, 2014 at 5:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gabe

We shoot a lot of live performance videos of mainstream bands that we get licenses to use for online streaming of youtube and vimeo. Youtube is a joke.. they don't care that you have a release or license for copyrighted material, they just stick an ad on there. Most of our stuff is hosted on Vimeo and hopefully they will create a way to upload your license along with the video, etc..

May 22, 2014 at 8:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ryan

Any chance you'd be willing to send me a copy of the licensing agreement you use? I do something similar, but I'm trying to get the licensing part of it right.

May 22, 2014 at 2:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Does this apply to the On Demand service as well? I can't imagine it would.

May 22, 2014 at 9:12AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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And things get even more complicated if you're outside of the USA.

Example?
Moby gives you free music under certain conditions, check out the great music: www.mobygratis.com

BUT: In some countries, the music industry (EMI in this example) claims some "rights" and your video get's deleted or is made invisible. I had this problem on youtube.
As an artist, I'm not someone who wants to spent his lifetime, not a second, with lawyers and copyright figths. So I removed my videos from youtube and used vimeo.

In future, I wont use music from moby anymore. Sad.
I bet, Moby did not want EMI to have that power over his music, when he signed a contract with them.

Remarkable: If I would have a US-account and uploaded in the US, I guess the video would not have been flagged by EMI, at least not there. But I would most probably not have seen, that in EU the video was invisible to the users.

May 22, 2014 at 9:19AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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It's sad that demo reels do not fall under fair use. Many big DPs, directors and produciton companies have used popular music on their reels without licensing it (including myself). But reels are commercial videos by definition so you cannot really complain.

Apart from my very first video (and reels), I have always licensed the music in my projects. Sometimes for free and sometimes paying a hefty price when I had the budget. There is a lot of music out there and you can license great music for little to no money if you work with emerging artists. It's a pain to handle music licensing but it is part of the work of a producer to do it.

Now it will all come to the implementation of the "rule". They better allow people to upload the licensing agreements with the video so people do not waste time answering to the staff.

May 22, 2014 at 9:19AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Any Alternative sites to start using? looked at Nimia and don't see that site as a good choice.

May 22, 2014 at 9:37AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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i've worked with a few prod companies that use a service called postspots.

can anyone else suggest some alternatives, for screening roughs with temp tracks, in a professional interface?

May 22, 2014 at 5:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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sam

I think it's funny everybody is so shocked by this. Of course this was coming. And just because you got used to do something that isn't right for a certain period of time, doesn't mean that you now have the right to do that thing forever! The reality is somebody made that music and they should have a say in whether or not it's used in some person's random crappy video that brings down the quality of the music. The ironic thing is every single person complaining about this on here - if somebody grabbed some of your video clips and used them in their crappy video, you'd be loosing it and calling lawyers. I believe there's a word for that...

May 22, 2014 at 10:25AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Clayton Arnall

Word! preach it...

May 22, 2014 at 1:24PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ken

I think most of the folks who commented above you are concerned more about how well it is implemented, not about there being any regulation at all. Like a lot of other folks, I've had videos with 100% legitimate, licensed music be yanked down from YouTube, or at the very least, had an ad put on them. That's ridiculous. I paid for the proper license (not cheaply, either) so I have the right to share my video with that music.

I have no problem with Vimeo regulating this, so long as the same thing doesn't happen. I don't want any of my professional work removed because of a faulty claim of misuse.

May 22, 2014 at 4:15PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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I deliver product on Youtube and Vimeo. Nearly all my projects have music leased from KillerTracks.com or tunesociety.com and nearly all of it gets flagged and ads put on it over on Youtube...even after asserting the defense of having licensed the music. Not looking forward to the change coming to Vimeo. I've already been delivering most drafts through dropbox but this change will force me to stop using Vimeo for anything but client gold masters that clients will have to pay me for the time to defend the licenses.

May 22, 2014 at 10:37AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Daniel

Yeah, I use TuneSociety.com a lot. It is a great music production source. I wonder if Vimeo will be flagging that and if so, how long will it take to deal with them and prove that I have a license to use it? I hope it can happen within 24 hours or less.

May 23, 2014 at 2:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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JB

Obviously, with the implementation of the appeals process, they are trying to have their cake and eat it too. Allowing for a review by a human, they (Vimeo), I'm sure, hope that a lot of it actually passes muster to keep the numbers of new uploads up. But, ultimately, if the test is indeed a stringent one, this will likely relegate Vimeo to a dusty and eventually invisible repository for strictly original content. And who does that? Only those with deep enough pockets to pay for music which, comprise a tiny fraction of current Vimeo users. Vimeo will suffer. The music industry will suffer and all but, the most monied productions will suffer.

I really don't understand why a music producer would be opposed to the use of their music on a not-for-profit, otherwise non-commercial or even a self promotional video if the creator credits the artist. It only gets the work in front of more eyes and ears. I don't make music but, if someone used some of my images or footage and gave me credit for it, I'd be thrilled. It's free advertising.

May 22, 2014 at 10:48AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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"I really don’t understand why a music producer would be opposed to the use of their music on a not-for-profit, otherwise non-commercial or even a self promotional video if the creator credits the artist. It only gets the work in front of more eyes and ears. "

2 things:

1) many artists are NOT in-fact offended by non-commercial, credited use of their music. Those artists post tracks licensed under creative commons, and video editors should make greater use of the wide variety of freely available creative commons music out there. Music flagged by this system would only flag tracks that the artists EXPLICITLY DON'T want used in this way.

2) when video editors grab copyrighted tracks and use them in their projects it doesn't equal free advertising. It equals uncompensated use. Think of it this way: would you be OK with some other artist or producer grabbing footage that YOU shot and edited and appropriating it for use in their projects without consultation or compensation? Do you enable downloads on EVERY track that you post to Vimeo? If the answer is no, then you've suddenly seen the other side of this.

May 22, 2014 at 11:29AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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rene coronado

I'm sure you won't mind then if I grab some of your video clips and use them in my own videos. I'll be sure to give you credit.

May 22, 2014 at 11:51AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Clayton Arnall

If you credit me clearly, have at it.

May 22, 2014 at 10:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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its about 'F-in time'. To hell with the illegal pirates.

May 22, 2014 at 10:58AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Joanathan

this will cause problems, there's no way a human being can verify the amount of appeals that around going to flood their system when the flags start rolling out. In an industry of fast turn arounds, vimeo is widely used to deliver rough cuts - as a lot of the other comments suggest. Not to rehash it, but this is alarming - at the very least, i hope they will give a month or so grace period on private videos before they go under the microscope.

May 22, 2014 at 11:46AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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alex

I think composers just need to write more cheap, cheesy music that can be used with demo reels!

May 22, 2014 at 11:58AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

Yeah like everything thats licensable!!!

May 23, 2014 at 12:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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criles

I tested the system out this morning and so far there is no success in flagging my material. https://vimeo.com/96087856

May 22, 2014 at 12:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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The problem is that there is no easy way to license certain material. Many times I have written to record companies requesting permission, and unless you are at the very least going in to a festival, I get zero responses.

May 22, 2014 at 1:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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We'll see how this ends up really changing the way we use Vimeo. It's disappointing to hear it'll be flagging everything including demo reels. I love Vimeo, I'll have to cancel my pro account if I can't even upload a private treatment for a client without it being flagged. I'll hold off however, until/unless I'm forced to find other options. Vimeo is my favorite site out there, it'll be a sad day if it gets caught up in the censor blender.

May 22, 2014 at 1:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Tyler

Is there a generally-accepted form that bands/artists/labels can sign to grant YouTube/Vimeo licensing? It seems like this is going to be a much-needed document from here on out. And if you have something like this, please send me a copy!

May 22, 2014 at 2:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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My main use of Vimeo Pro is client review. I pretty much only upload password protected clips strictly for client notes etc. We always use temp music, for example you can hear "the music bed" lady in a recent clip meaning we have't locked anything including music. The track could be replaced by another from Music Bed, APM or original score etc. If this process gets stopped or hindered in any way then I would have no use for Vimeo other than checking the occasional camera demo.

May 22, 2014 at 2:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Lance Bachelder

My EXACT thoughts. This is the biggest issue for me. I wont' spend $400 on a song before I KNOW the client wants it. Nor should I be expected to. This is why we get demo or watermarked tracks.

Client review features are the only reason I use Vimeo Pro, which I have accounts for freelance and for my day job. If they start flagging privately shared videos, then I'm done with Vimeo.

May 22, 2014 at 4:21PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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I suppose this is a perfect time for another service to rise in place of Vimeo because it will go down if these very nebulous and tedious rules are in place.

Perhaps the music industry and Vimeo should try and get more clever with it. Maybe if it's just a demo reel or some harmless no-budget camera test, have a link on page to the song where people can buy it. Everyone would probably be more happy and make more money this way. Instead of fighting people tooth and nail, maybe join them and find a better way to make money for everyone.

I completely understand if it's a for profit commercial where money is definitely at stake, but someone filming a camera test of their kids playing on swings? It's like why not have the band try to make money off the song with a "buy" link? Instead, now nobody will hear music, less money will be made, Vimeo will lose a lot of subscriptions and everyone will just be miserable and paranoid.

May 22, 2014 at 2:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene Sung (non-...

What most of the people don't understand is that there is almost not such a thing as "non-profit". Everything is for profit, even the camera tests someone does with their new camera. Because they will generate people to their site/account, so it's a kind of indirect self-promotion, exactly like a showreel. It's the same thing as a wedding videographer using a popular song as a soundtrack. If the couple asks it, though illegal, they may have it for themselves (private use). But as soon as the videographer puts a trailer online featuring a famous song, they are using someone else's great music, to promote their work and themselves. Which is plain illegal, unethical and wrong.

May 22, 2014 at 3:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Stel

Almost everyone knows a wannabe rock-star who writes/performs good music. Why not get Original Music written for your video?? I've done that and it doesn't cost much.

Don't know any musicians? Remember Wendy Carlos' Switched-On Bach http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switched-On_Bach With Garage Band you could re-do Mendelssohn's Wedding March as Death Metal. Lots of excellent music in the public domain -- no reason to steal copywrited music.

May 22, 2014 at 3:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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c.d.embrey

Yeah, and Wendy Carlos is a talentless idiot who just pushed a button and created many seminal recordings in electronic music history. Yeah, give me a break. It's attitudes like this that causes music to be devalued in the first place.

May 22, 2014 at 4:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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How am I devaluing music by suggesting that people get music written for their films???

The reason that I mentioned Wendy Carlos is that she's a talented musician (Stanley Kubrick agrees) who thought-outside-the-box. If you are doing a rom/com that has a bicycle ride don't rip-off Rain Drops Keep Falling on my Head http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uS9Qmgk4aR0 Instead do something creative like a EDM version of a Public Domain bicycle-song ( Bicycle Built for Two, etc, etc). I don't see this as devaluing either. YMMV.

May 22, 2014 at 5:24PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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c.d.embrey

Vimeo, if you're listening.... please make notes on the account, not just on each individual video. We put lots of music in our tracks (we produce broadcast television and use vimeo to screen roughcuts, etc) and we pay for every single audio cue we use. I'd hate to have to deal with getting permission for every single clip that goes online, when there could be a note applied to the account along the lines of "these guys are pros and have proven they clear everything - let's not ruin their approval process".

If someone is using vimeo to host their mp3 collection, by all means end it. But please understand that professionals use vimeo as a hosting service, and have deadlines. Thanks!

May 22, 2014 at 3:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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mike

Wedding Videographers are screwed. Damn. Sucks.

May 22, 2014 at 4:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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SMD

Someone will emerge to write generic wedding video music ... and, if this composer becomes a hit, he'll sell hundreds of thousands of his pieces at $5-$10/pop. And then the same pattern will emerge for any other type of a video-music marriage (pardon the pun). And a company like Vimeo may even hire in-house composers to provide these tracks.

May 22, 2014 at 4:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

Have Custom Music written for you. Just a cost of doing business.

May 22, 2014 at 5:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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c.d.embrey

New custom songs for every wedding? We use portions of 4 to 5 songs per Highlight Video and 35-40 weddings per year. Not sure that's even possible. I think we'll just have to find another way to stream. Another site. Something.

May 23, 2014 at 12:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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SMD

I thought the same thing. There are so many wedding videos Vimeo, could go black if they achieve what they want to do. I just create my videos as a hobby, but I do choose my music carefully to go with the video.
This bit of news is so disappointing, but i will just upload somewhere else, like Flickr or Google+ and keep it moving.

August 5, 2014 at 11:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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It's somewhat of a dramatic irony. Music was the victim to illegal downloads which now leads to videos being the victim to illegal uploads. I appreciate Vimeo trying to be above board and at least use humans to monitor the process. However, let's be honest when did people become so entitled to free entertainment. Musicians work hard for what they do and deserve to be compensated. What I would love for them to do is create a channel so you could contact artists directly to purchase permissions to use their work. Vimeo being a community of artist and all.

May 22, 2014 at 4:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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I deleted my youtube channel some time back because of this. I guess I will do the same with Vimeo when they start blocking my content. I used to host my own videos and I guess that is what I will have to do again. Sucks.

May 22, 2014 at 4:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Some "creative" with a beard, glasses and skinny jeans at Vimeo pushed for this I bet.

Goodbye Vimeo........

May 22, 2014 at 4:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Bud Williams

Lets face it, this is inevitable - the same will happen with Soundcloud. As soon as a platform reaches a certain size it probably gets targeted by MPAA or RIAA or whoever & if the company does not comply with their demands then it puts their future in jeopardy.

For work in progress/approval etc, there already is a new video platform targetted specifically:

http://wipster.io/

May 22, 2014 at 6:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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tim

I think some people here should understand that Vimeo was not created to be a place for indie film makers to host their demo reels.

Vimeo was created to be a competitor to Youtube, i.e. a place for the public to go see whatever is going viral. Or or to get their daily fix of cute kitty videos etc. They have better quality, Vimeo Pro, yada yada yada. But it's still a place for viral video. A lot of it for dumbasses - many of whom are utterly absorbed by Candy Crush and Pet Rescue Saga! when they're not on Vimeo.

People! Why not just upload to your own web site's host server (assuming you have a site). I'll bet you have plenty of empty space to hold your videos. Or, if you have no site, upload to Dropbox, Mega-upload, Google Drive, etc, etc.

Vimeo does nothing magical to your video to make it more appealing to the viewer watching it. Uploading it will take no longer than it does for uploading to Vimeo or anywhere else. Watching it will most like not even require downloading before watching (depending on your encoder settings and the viewers connection speed). Sufficient buffering should be fine.

Use a free FTP client to upload it to a specific directory and give a URL to the would-be viewer such as:

yoursite.com/requisite_folder

and your uploaded videos will appear as hyperlinks that can clicked on to start playing remotely or they can be downloaded first and then watches as a local file.

OK, so it doesn't do this auto synching locally like Dropbox etc. but so what! It doesn't show number of views but you can easily use some simple javascript to setup a counter (and even make it invisible)

It's free of cost and free of copyright police.

May 22, 2014 at 6:05PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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wsmith

We all get that, but the nice thing about Vimeo is that it's a community and it's nice to see what other people are working on. I can host everything on my own website and so can others, but then the chances of us seeing each others work is greatly reduced.

And I wouldn't say Vimeo is the same demographic as YouTube, where people upload countless videos of their cat being hit by a water balloon. The thing I like about Vimeo is that more creative types tend to post their stuff on it, and it's got so much less clutter and banner ads than YouTube, which looks like crap.

But yeah, I have a feeling Vimeo is going to lose popularity with this new rule because yeah, you might as well just host your own stuff from now on. Like I said before, I feel like Vimeo and the record companies should figure out ways to monetize people using click to buys or some other way to get people to buy the song so everyone makes money.

The new way is just going to make NOBODY money and cause Vimeo to go down the drain.

May 22, 2014 at 6:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene Sung (non-...

But that what will probably happen for the pros - an emergence of third-party music clearing service for the videographers (which will not include the major labels and acts and similar to the businesses already offering this), an in-house music creation for a small fee, a independent label specializing in this type of creation and licensing, etc.

May 23, 2014 at 12:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

Primarily creativity is meant to be shared, enjoyed and should be accessible to everyone. It inspires people to do better and in some cases can even transcend ownership.

For example I would say the Star Wars universe (ethically at least) belongs to the fans as much as it does to Lucasfilm/Disney/Fox, as collectively they have all been responsible for keeping it alive for the last 37 years.

Any true creative knows that any monetary value ALWAYS comes second. The need to share content is much stronger. Of course we all deserve to make a living out of our creative pursuits, but we should always recognise that without an audience creativity has no worth.

So to conclude, there is no really no sense in scanning private videos for copyright infringement. Fan-based video content or personal videos like weddings and private events should also be exempt from copyright infringement. You just have to use your common sense - unfortunately you can't teach automated software common sense!

May 22, 2014 at 6:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Pretty sure Lucasfilm/Disney/Fox would disagree with your take on who owns what.

May 23, 2014 at 5:57AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Billy Barber

Wow Vimeo. For a site that you pay $60 a year for to be able to upload content for your own purposes, you're now going to start police-ing our activity? What say you about people who use Vimeo to post their demo reels? What about people who are posting content for approvals? How are you supposed to decide if we have a license to particular music/footage/ etc? This is absolutely ludicrous. You've always promoted your site as a no frills, clean way to present video content, and just like that you're making vimeo, youtube2. When my enrollment comes around I will seriously reconsider my membership if this policy isn't canceled or modified. I am constantly uploading content that I've created with music tracks that either have not yet been licensed (generally for approval), or were not purchased by a client, or are for demo purposes to showcase my work, and with this policy, you are going to render what I can do with vimeo completely inaffective. Is every upload to supposed to showcase original music? And if so, how are you supposed to tell the difference? Are we going to have to explain ourselves for every upload we make, for you to determine if a license is valid or not? This is completely ridiculous.

May 22, 2014 at 6:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Joseph Robba

I totally agree. The service will be useless to me if I cannot use it to house material set for approval.

May 22, 2014 at 9:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Like I said earlier...some “creative” with a beard, glasses and skinny jeans at Vimeo pushed for this.

May 22, 2014 at 10:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Bud Williams

In the exact same boat. Nearly every video I upload has temp music for approval in a Private link. If I can no longer do that I will have no use for Vimeo and be uploading all client videos to a messier service like Dropbox.

If this is the case, Vimeo Plus subscriptions need to be free.

May 23, 2014 at 5:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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YouTube's problem is copyright trolls. This is due to the following policy:

from the article:
"the key difference between YouTube and Vimeo is that YouTube gives copyright holders the option to monetize videos that are using video or audio without permission.

Being able to monetize videos that get flagged means it's worthwhile to claim you own all the public domain work in existence, for example. That's what a copyright troll is: someone posing as a copyright holder. No matter how long the YouTube appeals process is, the troll can put ads against your work and collect revenue. No matter that the audio is public domain. No matter that it's Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike. No matter that you are the composer! No matter what it is, a troll can make a claim. As the filmmaker, your job is to appeal the troll's claim, which is like filling out a form to an empty universe.

I quit YouTube because the repeating process was so dispiriting and sleazy and wrong. I let the appeals process on the second case run for 6 weeks. Then I simply marked all my videos private and walked away from YouTube. I also put some distance between me and Google. I hope Vimeo doesn't go the same way.

Read the composer Chris Zabriskie's, How I end up with YouTube copyright claims on my own songs
http://chriszabriskie.com/2013/04/how-i-end-up-with-youtube-copyright-cl...

May 22, 2014 at 6:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Some “creative” with a beard, glasses and skinny jeans at Vimeo pushed for this I bet.

Goodbye Vimeo

May 22, 2014 at 10:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Bud Williams II

Moves like this breeds competition. Someone needs to make a site like Vimeo but without the BS. I will gladly quit Vimeo. In the meantime, I will cease to renew their ability to charge me. We may as well go back to YouTube. They don't charge. I gladly gave Vimeo money because they allowed my art to exist online where YouTube would not.

May 22, 2014 at 10:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Zack

This will create havoc for demo reels. Demo reels should be excluded. Please!! If anything, just ask the person to credit the artists music used in the demo reel. come on man......

May 22, 2014 at 11:12PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Good point. And musicians should be able to freely use any of your visuals 'just for music videos'

May 23, 2014 at 12:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Charlie

I would not mind a musician using some of my footage to show a potential client the impact his or her music could have placed under powerful visuals as a demo.

The issue is if they were creating work with their music and my visuals. Same thing for my demo reel vs. work. I am trying to show a client that I can produce quality work, not produce a piece of work.

May 23, 2014 at 5:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Morgan Simpson

Can NoFilmSchool look into writing an article on how to legally use copyrighted music in films?

The best advice I've seen is to contact the musician or the musicians lawyer for the rights. But this only the first step. How would one go about obtaining a complete legal right to a song?

May 22, 2014 at 11:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gabe Murray

You must obtain a synch license from BOTH copyright owners - the owner of the master audio recording (usually the band or the record label), and the owner of the music and lyrics. Sometimes, for small bands and artists, they are both owned by the same person or entity. You would usually start by contacting the artist's management (not booking agent), who can refer you to the proper owners. This can be a frustrating and convoluted process that can include record labels and publishers which have to be tracked down via a P.R.O. like ASCAP, and involves licensing territories and terms etc. You are usually better off going with pre-cleared libraries of tunes that don't require the legwork.

May 23, 2014 at 1:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Brian

+1

May 23, 2014 at 4:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Hey, Vimeo: If this puts the "auto brakes" on stuff we're uploading for approvals, or if we get deleted/blocked for music we've paid for (but got flagged) -- then you can watch a huge herd of our butts as we exit your doors with our money in hand.

If this means I have to buy license to every track (even for private link, client-approval stuff) then it's GOODBYE VIMEO. We just cannot afford to have videos that are in flux (read: approval process) get flagged when we're using tracks for trial purposes. It's not uncommon for a three minute client video to have 10 versions within the course of a week. Do they expect us to be o.k. with some robot flagging and blocking our content until we submit paid invoices for demo tracks for every version put up for approval? That's a non-starter. We're legit. We license music. But not for every demo/awaiting-aplproval video. Not for our "play" video that's overlaid with some random clip of music. Are we going to get robot-flagged and shut down for something that six weeks later turns out to be fair use? Or issued an apology for a track that used licensed music five weeks after client deadline?

Vimeo needs to listen up. The vast majority of commentators here are not crying "Awwww! I want to use top 40 music for free in a client video I'm hosting and I'm just too poor/lazy/hip/special to license anything!" We're legitimate professionals who see this thing heading over a cliff.

Time for another company to rise and take the money we used to send to Vimeo.

May 22, 2014 at 11:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Erik Stenbakken

I have over 200,000 views on vimeo and now will likely have to stop using their site.

Damn.

May 23, 2014 at 12:02AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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criles

Major problem if they actually apply this automatic flag to private videos. Private videos are so useful for showing temp versions to commercial and wedding clients. Maybe they could implement the flagging once a private video reaches a certain number of views...? Wonder if Wistia could be a decent alternative to Vimeo? I read the FAQs but didn't find any infos on copyrighted materials or private videos...

May 23, 2014 at 12:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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This is the beginning of the end of Vimeo. Sad day. They're going to slowly eliminate anything that differentiates them.

May 23, 2014 at 12:56AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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trackofalljades

After googling a little bit I can't seem to find anything that is similar to Vimeo or Youtube? Anyone have any suggestions?

May 23, 2014 at 1:49AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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cam

I foresee a huge problem for me as I share work that I've done for clients on Vimeo, and for which I have self marketing rights contractually agreed. I don't have the underlying rights to the music, CGI etc. but I am allowed to display the finished work. With Copyright Match, I imagine I'm going to have to go to my clients to get some kind of note, and then possibly expose them to do some DMCA work, just do a lowly DP can share his work ... I'm afraid that's not going to happen. And I wouldn't want to put my clients through it either.

Anyone can suggest alternatives or have experience with sites like Wistia, Sprout, Dailymotion?

May 23, 2014 at 1:50AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Kevin Ko

That isn't very nice, after a lot of people uploaded their showreel to Vimeo... nothing said about all the pornographic material on Vimeo though, there are tons of videos that are supposed to be "arty", yes sure whatever you bunch of pervs at Vimeo... not very professional, I think I will leave Vimeo and upload my showreel on my own site, with whatever music I like. fuck you Vimeo.

May 23, 2014 at 4:07AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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billy bob johnson

Welp. Seeya Vimeo. :(

May 23, 2014 at 4:22AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Hayley

So now every demo reel will be exchange via private links on Dropbox for example, anyone will claim any work that appear on their reel, and their will be even more clowns in the world. thanks to Vimeo. You guys understand the point of making a showreel public right?

May 23, 2014 at 4:23AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jamie Po

Vimeo has been my staple uploading site for over 5 years. So, if not Vimeo, what's the next best thing?

May 23, 2014 at 6:43AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Sad to see Vimeo take this road. As one of the earlier people commented, Vimeo is going to see a mass egress of it's clients and will probably open the door for a new site without this silly policy. Almost everyone that posts
gives credit to the creators to music they use - they are not selling anything it's a free form of recognition and, in fact, publicity for some of the music that has long faded from the public eye. Shame on you Vimeo. The policy on a site like Vimeo protects absolutely no one.

May 23, 2014 at 11:29AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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First of all you want to charge me 60,- to upload like a pro - Youtube is free. Then I cannot monitize my work like on Youtube with ads and now you even want to block private videos with a stupid auto dedect software? I had some issues with Youtube with licenced music - if you write them you get no response. The software is not working too good.
I buy all my music I use for my videos! But if I want to show my family a video which is hidden or just available via password how my little daughter is having fun I will not buy music for that - sorry. So there is no more use for VIMEO. Youtube wins / again

May 23, 2014 at 11:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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pedro

Great article, well-explained. Yes, the key is YT has the monetization option for rights holders, so you can still put your stuff up there, but have to deal with annoying ads and inferior quality.

Wonder why Vimeo decided not to go that route. Maybe because they don't want ads to keep their page clean (which is good on the one hand), or maybe because they're too small to negotiate these kind of deals. Along the same lines, what if everyone decides to "appeal" - 170 million - how is their little 10-person staff going to handle that?

On larger docs we've always been buttoned-up with rights and clearances. But in practice I do a lot of video for a charity website, as well as for small commercial clients, and have used uncleared music. The "hit" numbers are relatively small so I've never felt that bad about it, but it won't fly as fair use. Maybe the nonprofit will.

Getting back to YT's monetizing option for rights holders, does anyone how that works? I imagine what eventually trickles down to the artists is pennies.

May 23, 2014 at 11:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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George

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