Facebook is rolling out a solution to its 'freebooting' problem

Mark zuckerbergJustin Sullivan/GettyFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook and its userbase has recently come under fire for the practice of “freebooting,” where people rip someone else’s copyright-protected material from places like YouTube and Vine and then upload it to Facebook’s native video player.

Now, the company says, it has a solution. Facebook has been building a new “video matching technology” intended to curb freebooting, the company announced on its blog Thursday.

The new technology will let content creators find and identify when their videos are re-uploaded to other Pages, profiles, and groups.

Facebook previously used a system called Audible Magic to identify stolen video content, and offered its users reporting tools to flag copyright-protected material reposted by other users through Facebook’s native video player.

Facebook notes that its new freeboot-detecting feature is still in beta and it’s being tested with a small group right now, including video creators and media companies. In the future, Facebook plans to roll out a more comprehensive system for users to manage their videos.

Earlier this month, YouTube star Hank Green wrote a scathing post titled “Theft, lies, and Facebook Video” that skewered Facebook’s native video player, especially as it related to YouTube.

His main objections were twofold: one was Facebook’s practice of counting a video that autoplays for at least three seconds as a “view.” Facebook has long been open about this video metric, which is a well-debated issue in the ad industry. The second main issue Green had was with rampant video freebooting.

People with huge Facebook followings — celebrities such as Tyrese Gibson and Perez Hilton — have a well-documented penchant for lifting viral videos from other sites and uploading them to Facebook for their own gain.

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