In a promising step forward for user privacy and creators’ rights, Vimeo’s CEO has issued a statement regarding the company’s plans to not let any generative AI models be trained on videos hosted on their platform—with the caveat of stating “without your explicit consent.”

This announcement from new Vimeo CEO Philip Moyer comes after a month of deliberation when the top seat at Vimeo opened up his inbox to hear from Vimeo users about this decision following reports that AI scraping and training options were being considered.

This is an important decision that’s reflective of discussions going on in boardrooms across the globe as tech companies and social media platforms alike are deliberating as to how to handle the many scraping requests from the major AI players looking for quality training materials.

Here’s the full statement from Vimeo and what it means for your content going forward.

Vimeo’s Stance on AI

The headline here might simply be that Vimeo is, more or less, saying “no” to big AI interests by not allowing outside companies to come in and use Vimeo users’ videos as assets for their generative AI algorithms to train on.

Here’s what the Vimeo CEO had to say on this specifically:

After extensive outreach and hearing your thoughts, we are taking a definitive stance contrary to many other community websites: Vimeo will not allow generative AI models to be trained using videos hosted on our platform without your explicit consent, even if you use our free offerings. In addition, we prohibit unauthorized content scraping (by model companies) and continue to implement security protocols designed to protect user-generated content. — Philip Moyer, Vimeo CEO

Moyer followed up his thoughts (which you can read in their entirety here) by underscoring the company’s promise to serve as a “protector of creative rights” for its users and to strive for “the ethical and transparent use of technology.”

The Ethics of AI Training

Now, all that being said, as we’ve covered before, Vimeo and many other tech companies that serve filmmakers and video creatives of all types are still pulling out all of the stops to add AI-powered tools and features to their platforms and services.

For the most part, while many creators worry about their roles being so advanced and streamlined by AI that they could lose work opportunities, the majority of the industry is hungry for workflow improvements and sophisticated additive AI features.

The real issue for most Vimeo users and content creators hosting their videos on trusted platforms like Vimeo, YouTube, or others is that their content will always be private, and protected, it is up to them to decide how it’s used for any other commercial purposes—including AI scraping and training.

This decision by one of the major players in the space is encouraging that with the support of product users and the filmmaking and video production public at large, these companies are going to make decisions that will put content creators and owners first.