Over the past few months, filtering technology – its costs and consequences – has been a hot topic of discussion in Brussels’ policy circles, due to the European copyright reform.
This is because, as explained in previous blog posts, the European copyright reform introduces mandatory filtering requirements for platforms hosting user-generated content (such as family videos, pictures or written comments) – thereby going against article 15 of the e-Commerce directive (which prohibits general monitoring obligations).
Proponents of the European Commission’s copyright proposal argue that filtering technology is not expensive and would ensure that no copyright-infringing content is available on such platforms. Vice-President Ansip, for example, stated on June 19 that filtering tools such as Audible Magic cost “400, 500 bucks” to identify 10.000 songs.
Such claims should be challenged – and were thankfully thoroughly debunked by CopyBuzz, which reminds us that “YouTube invested more than $60 million in its Content ID technology” and that “SoundCloud spent more than €5 million building its own filtering technology and still must dedicate seven full-time employees to maintain the technology”.