An automated system that allows copyright holders to flag their content on YouTube ran amok this week as a number of large news agencies claimed public domain NASA footage as their own, forcing the space agency’s videos offline and denying CTTechJunkie its ability to earn revenue on its coverage of the Mars rover landing.

The takedowns occurred through YouTube’s copyright identification system called Content ID. Google, YouTube’s parent company, implemented the system in response to concerns (and lawsuits) raised by the entertainment industry over YouTube users uploading copyrighted content to the site. It is able to find patterns in videos that match video or audio from major media companies and immediately have those videos pulled down. Or, they add advertisements that benefit the rightsholder.

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