While 360 videos have become increasingly popular with the public, thanks to Samsung, Ricoh, and countless other devices, they’re also becoming a bastion for movie pirates looking to avoid detection by copyright protection programs. It seems that some enterprising pirates are combining two videos to make a 360 panoramic video.
— Adam Conover (@adamconover) June 30, 2016
Earlier today, Adam Conover, star of the TruTV show “Adam Ruins Everything,” drew attention to something he had found on YouTube. It seems the entire “Clueless” movie was posted as a 360 video. The default view is on the movie itself, but you can pan around to see some random backdrops that give the impression it’s something else.
YouTube uses its Content ID bot to scour its social network — across all uploaded videos — in search of copyrighted material. However, it has drawn criticism from those who say that Content ID is flagging content on behalf of organizations that don’t own the material they claim is theirs. In 2013, independent developer Jonathan Blow tweeted that he had received a violation notice saying that his game The Witness was owned by Sony. Eventually that notice was dismissed.
Over time, YouTube’s system has become increasingly sophisticated, so pirates need to find new loopholes, and they seem to have discovered one in 360 videos. How long these will remain posted on the popular social network remains to be seen, as it’s likely YouTube will have a fix for this soon.
We’ve reached out to YouTube for comment and will update if we hear back.