We all enjoy the random Facebook videos that pop up on our news feeds: they autoplay, they're easy to share, and they probably already have about 8 million views by the time you've seen it. But unless you know a little more about the world of online video, you probably don't realise that the page that posted that video probably nicked it from somewhere else.
"Freebooting" is the practice of taking someone else's content from somewhere on the internet, and posting it to one's own social accounts without any appropriate sourcing. It could be anything from photos, Tweets, funny text posts... but some of the worst victims are Vines and YouTube videos.
CREATORS: If you see a fellow creator posting a freebooted video on Facebook, don't let that shit go. Even if they're more popular than you.— Logan Rapp (@Loganchance) August 27, 2015
Freebooted videos that are going viral on their original locations are being routinely downloaded and reposted by large Facebook pages of content sites known for posting "random funny stuff", and the original uploader loses out on potentially millions of views and subsequent ad revenue. Fortunately, Facebook are finally cracking down on it.
In a blog post earlier this week, Facebook revealed they are working on a content match system that will be able to identify stolen videos. Working with video and online media companies such as Fullscreen, Jukin Media and ZEFR (names you might recognise from the descriptions of certain viral videos), Facebook hopes to help creators "get credit for the videos that they own".
"Some publishers with particular needs, including creators whose videos have gone viral, have been asking for more tools," they explain. "Our matching tool will evaluate millions of video uploads quickly and accurately, and when matches are surfaced, publishers will be able to report them to us for removal."
So does this mean that all the random funny videos you enjoy on your Facebook feed will suddenly go bye-bye? In many cases yes, sadly; as a popular Facebook page probably stole it, and that's a thing they shouldn't have done. But as Facebook video is becoming increasingly popular and is doing more to attract original creators, hopefully the great videos that you do see and share in the future will be coming from the people who actually made them in the first place.