YouTube has paid out $2 billion to content creators, company says

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Google on Wednesday said it had paid out more than $2 billion to people who had claimed their content on YouTube since 2007.

It’s a clear shot against musicians who say the company doesn’t do enough to protect their work on the streaming service.

YouTube uses software called Content ID to let creators claim their content and, if they want, get a share of the money made from advertising on the video.

{mosads}“The music industry chooses to monetize more than 95% of their claims, opting to leave the content up on the platform — half of the music industry’s YouTube revenue comes from fan content claimed via Content ID,” said Google lawyer Katie Oyama in a blog post.

“Thanks to Content ID, YouTube is also the only platform that gives partners an automated way to directly monetize background/incidental use and covers.”

The company announced the payout number in an updated version of a document laying out what it does to combat content piracy. It marks a rapid increase for the amount of money being distributed through the system: in 2014, the company said it had paid out $1 billion though the Content ID system.

The release of the latest number coincides with a push in recent months from major musicians and their lobbyists who say that YouTube needs to pay creators more for music that users stream, free of charge. They complain about the system needed to take down copyright-infringing content from YouTube, as well.

“If we had a system where once a song was taken down, you had a filtering system that prevented it from going back up, we wouldn’t have to be sending hundreds of millions of notices on the same content over and over again,” Recording Industry Association of America chief Cary Sherman told Recode this year.

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