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Facebook will let video creators make money when people pirate their videos

YouTube does something similar.

15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 - Day Three Ian Walton / Getty

Facebook is giving video creators a chance to make some money when others on the network pirate their content without permission.

Facebook first rolled out what it calls “Rights Manager” a year ago so that video creators could use video matching software to automatically detect when their video was ripped off and re-posted. It’s the same kind of technology that YouTube offers, called Content ID, to protect video creators.

At the time Rights Manager launched on Facebook, video owners had two options: They could either take the pirated video down, or leave it up for the added reach.

Now Facebook has a third option: Make some money. The company says it will let video owners generate revenue from mid-roll ads that run during their pirated video. Facebook says the video owner can claim “a share of the money generated” from the ads, and we assume Facebook also takes a cut. (We’ve asked for clarification.)

It’s an important step for Facebook, which wants to be a premium video destination but has had issues with users pirating content in the past. Creators won’t want to hand over their videos if there’s no way to protect them, or at least monetize them. YouTube already gives rights holders an option to monetize their pirated videos instead of just taking them down.

Facebook knows that, and that’s why it’s pushing Rights Manager at the same time it’s cutting deals with publishers for more premium video content.

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