After masquerading as legitimate music rightsholders, two men fraudulently extracted over $23 million in revenue from YouTube’s Content ID system. The men were indicted in 2021 and subsequently entered guilty pleas. An Arizona court has now sentenced Webster Batista Fernandez, who reportedly initiated the scheme, to 46 months in prison.
YouTube’s Content ID system helps rightsholders and content creators prevent copyright infringement.
Copyright holders can either remove problematic content from the video platform or monetize it instead.
Monetization is preferred in many cases and can be quite lucrative. Over the years, the Content ID platform has generated more than $9 billion in ‘claimed’ advertising revenue.
Criminal Content ID Scam
This option isn’t just utilized by legitimate owners, scammers have been making use of it too. While it’s unknown how often the system is abused, an indictment published by the Department of Justice in late 2021…