YouTube and copyright holders have quite a history, but the site is now perhaps one of the best examples of how to manage user-generated content.
It's ContentID program identifies videos that may be infringing, but the interesting part is that YouTube offers copyright holders a way to make money from videos they did not authorize enabling those videos to stay up.
Now it hopes to take this one step further with the acquisition of RightsFlow a copyright management firm. RightsFlow aims to make it easier to link copyright holders to those wanting to license a work.
For YouTube, this should mean that it will be easier for it to send money to the appropriate artists if a song is used in one or more videos.
"We’re excited to announce that we’ve acquired RightsFlow, a New York-based company that helps songwriters, recording artists, record labels, distributors and online music services manage music rights," YouTube wrote.
"As new ways of consuming music have emerged, RightsFlow has been at the forefront of solving the complex issues of licensing and royalty payment management. We couldn’t think of a better team to bring on board to further YouTube’s support of the creative community," it explained.
The idea seems to be to enable people to continue to upload videos to the site, of themselves covering various songs for example, while also making sure that some of the ad revenue goes to the artists that created the song in the first place.
YouTube has been working on monetizing more videos, but it can't do that if the videos its running are infringing in one way or another. That's why it only shows ads next to videos from channels and partners it trusts.
With a better system of making sure that more videos are legally solid, it would mean more money for YouTube, but also for the creators of the videos and anyone who may have a stake in it.