Posted Friday 15th of May 2015 .

The first video was uploaded on YouTube a decade ago and the website was quickly acquired by Google, 18 months later in October of 2006. According to in-house counsel, heading up YouTube’s trade mark and anti-counterfeiting departments, one of the biggest challenges has been finding a balance between addressing brand owner concerns while protecting the free speech rights of its users. YouTube has come a long way in refining the tools available to brand owners for tackling IP infringement on its website. The website now includes a system which automatically flags audio copyright infringement and additionally includes an online reporting system which allows trade mark owners to report infringement by submitting their IP complaints online. Of these complaints, YouTube prioritises counterfeiting claims, which are on average processed in 24 hours. Videos that violate YouTube’s counterfeit policy are removed and YouTube accounts that are dedicated to the sale of counterfeit goods are closed in their entirety. With 300 hours of video content uploaded every hour, and the increasing difficulty in monitoring such content, it will be interesting to see how YouTube adjusts its IP policies and enforcement tools in the future, to effectively address and alleviate brand owner’s concerns. (World Trademark Review, 12 May 2015)

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