Google’s YouTube, launched in 2005, has hit 72 hours of video content uploaded per minute, in a steady ascent. By 2007, users were adding six hours of video per minute – by January of 2009, that number hit 15 hours, by March 2010, 24 hours, by November of that year, 35 hours, and so forth.
YouTube has been having some copyright infringement problems since its inception, with record labels and movie studios suing over the platform’s lack of better control over what its users upload. YouTube recently lost a court case in Germany over 12 unlicensed songs a user uploaded to its server. The plaintiff had urged YouTube to install better upload filters in an attempt to stop illegal content streaming. Though, now with the 72 hour per minute ratio, the logistics of this of thing just become more complicated.
Also, if new filters are enforced, this could delay upload times for YouTube. This would definitely be a hit to the service – a main reason why some users steer clear of other video hosting sites, like Vimeo, is because of the long processing times. And Facebook’s filters flag anything found to be copyrighted, and promptly deletes it. A YouTube clip is processed very quickly, and an anti-infringement endorsed filter would likely hinder this to an unknown extent, with copyrights having to be cleared.
On the other hand, if a random user is monetizing an unsigned artist’s content on YouTube, which happens all the time, this is also a bad thing, which would warrant longer wait times. As of now, video content can be posted faster than real time – meaning, an hour long clip can be put online in ten minutes, so there’s no way some oDesk employee in Tangier might have pre-screened it. It is evident that it will likely be a while for YouTube and Google to sort out the most efficient balance regarding how its content is legally uploaded.