Pirates using YouTube’s 360 videos to hide movies from copyright detection


While 360 videos have become increasingly popular thanks to Samsung, Ricoh, and countless other devices, it’s also becoming a bastion for movie pirates to hide content to avoid detection by copyright protection programs. It seems that pirates are combining two videos together and making it a 360 panoramic.




Earlier today, Adam Conover, the star of the TruTV show called “Adam Ruins Everything” highlighted something he found on YouTube where the entire “Clueless” movie was posted as a 360 video. The default view is on the movie, but you can pan around to see some random backdrop that gives the impression that it’s something else. But it’s not.

Someone embedded the entire film

Above: Someone embedded the entire film “Clueless” into a 360 video and has placed it on YouTube. While you can watch the entire clip normally, you’re also able to cycle around. This likely was done to skirt copyright protection programs the video network has in place.

Image Credit: Screenshot

YouTube uses its Content ID bot to scour its social network in search of copyrighted material in all uploaded videos. However, it has drawn criticism by those that say Content ID is flagging content for organizations that don’t own the material they claim. In 2013, independent developer Jonathan Blow tweeted that he received a violation notice saying his game The Witness was owned by Sony. Eventually that notice was dismissed.


Over time, YouTube’s system has become somewhat sophisticated so pirates are in need of finding new loopholes, and it seems to have discovered it in 360 videos. How long they’ll 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.


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