on May 27, 2014 Opinion

Vimeo Copyright Match, and Choosing The Right Tool for the Job

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On May 21st, Vimeo announced on its blog that it will run all uploaded content through a new copyright scanning system which--like YouTube's--will flag any file that contains copyrighted audio. This shocked and dismayed a large portion of its user community, but however disruptive this announcement may have been to many, no one should have been surprised.

The announcement threw the twittersphere into chaos: editors, post supers and freelancers ranted and fumed, their collective noses out of joint. The most frequent complaint was that they could no longer use Vimeo as a client review and approval tool – and they are right.

When working through a rough cut, it’s commonplace to mix temp music for which you don’t have the rights to “set the mood” or to communicate a “wish list” to those negotiating the needle drops. Conversely, if a particular song or video clip is critical to a scene, a content creator may secure the rights to it during pre-production.

Production and post production is highly time sensitive. When clients or execs want to see a cut – they want to see a cut now. No one has time to go through a copyright resolution process (which takes how long? It’s unclear) – even if they do have the rights to use the music.

But everyone who kicked up a fuss was missing the point – Vimeo is not a professional review and approval tool, and never tried to be. 

Don’t get me wrong. Vimeo is a fantastic platform for simple video embedding and for self-distribution of original content. Ever since they announced the Tip Jar and VOD in September 2012, the writing’s been on the wall that they are building a platform for independent content creators to distribute their original work and make money from it.

These are the features of a professional review and approval platform:

  • High quality proxies created automatically at lightning speed

  • Plug-in & App-free accessibility on any device – desktop or mobile

  • Air-tight security with 256-bit encryption and MPAA compliance

  • Timecode-based commenting with NLE-compliant exports

  • Robust reporting and analytics

  • Turn-key branding options & Ad-free links

  • Optional file downloading for distribution use cases

And, if you’re looking for something enterprise-ready:

  • A RESTful API to enable integration & customization

  • Asset management functionality to easily manage your library of finished and work-in-progress assets

  • SSO (Single Sign On) integration capabilities

I understand the vocal frustration with this announcement, but Vimeo is making the right decisions to comply with copyright laws and protect itself from liability as a distribution platform.

To do professional review and approval you need the right tool for the job – something like MediaSilo.

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