The ContentID system is YouTube’s automated copyright management platform and was set up to protect artists from copyright infringements. Those artists notify YouTube of their authority over certain musical and film content by uploading metadata and raw files that connects them to their work, giving YouTube the information they need to detect whether that content is being used by others on the site. If copyrighted work is detected, the original owner can ask for it to be removed or they can collect ad revenue against it. However, the system often fails both the holders of content rights and those users who seek to legitimately use it and are licensed to do so. Because ContentID only identifies the song, not the license agreement behind it, it has led to many, many instances of confusion and exploitation for some of the parties concerned.

Now, a new type of tracking software from U.S. based music licensing company Audiosocket aims to make it easier for artists to get the full credit they deserve for their original work should it get used on YouTube, and many other sites such as Vimeo. The software, LicenseID,  alerts the copyright holder to the fact that their music has been, or is being used but also, and this where is takes notifications that step further, it confirms whether the account holder using the track has legal permission to do just that.

Jenn Miller, COO of Audiosocket said of the new software:

The explosive growth of monetized and user-generated content on YouTube and other video sharing platforms has sparked a growing number of digital licensing issues and lawsuits. Until today, the music industry has not delivered advanced technologies to meet the copyright demands of the broader market. As music industry professionals, we have created a technology to identify music that is properly licensed from that which violates copyrights. LicenseID is a solution that acts as a digital proof of purchase thereby protecting the interests of all parties involved.

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LicenceID embeds a unique tag into into audio files which can automatically detect unlicensed usage. The license holder gets access to data regarding that usage and the company promise that there will be “no more confusion about who licensed what”.