YouTube is the most popular video sharing website available today and we’ve seen some pretty impressive numbers in terms of the amount of traffic that the Google property receives. However, even with all of the traffic that the site has, Google has had a tough time successfully monetizing the website.
In addition to this, YouTube has often found itself in legal troubles, mostly from Hollywood studios that complain that the video site is not doing enough to curb piracy and as such copyright violations are rampant. Currently, if a movie company believes that their copyrights have been violated, they can file a complaint with YouTube who in turn will remove the offending video footage, often without much investigation.
The reason why little manual investigation takes place is because of the enormous challenge that the website currently faces. By some accounts, more then 72 hours of video footage is uploaded to the website every minute. Copyright holders have often pressed the courts to have YouTube review this footage before the videos are posted, but the problem is that if a manual review process is established, this process would be fiscally not viable. The website TechDirt recently came out with some numbers of their own and based upon their estimates, a manual review would cost the company $37 billion each year.
Now, we do have to put an asterisk beside this number because TechDirt’s number makes use of Silicon Valley judges that have an annual salary of $177.454. Considering the amount of video that is uploaded daily, YouTube would need to employ nearly 200,000 just to screen the video. Obviously, there are better ways of screening the video and automation would be a key to this process. Of course, this also takes time and cost to develop technology that is accurate and efficient.