Vimeo won’t allow AI companies to use your content

One of the big concerns with the growth in generative AI has been the sources of the content used to train the AI. However, if you store your videos on Vimeo, you don’t need to worry.

What’s the issue with generative AI?

Generative AI is one of the fastest-growing areas of AI technology. There are apps that will generate images, videos and written works all from a basic text prompt. However, the AI programs all need to be trained on existing images and text from across the internet. As a result, some artists are concerned that their work could be used in this way without their knowledge or permission.

Vimeo survey on AI

Last month, Vimeo’s CEO Philip Moyer wrote a blog post about the platform’s implementation of AI. He said that Vimeo offered AI tools to help you record, transcribe, summarize, caption and index your videos. Moyer also set out Vimeo’s principles around AI. These are:

  • Be socially responsible.
  • Equip customers with control.
  • Provide transparency and clarity.
  • Promote fairness and inclusivity.
  • Protect privacy and security.

In addition, Vimeo launched a survey for its users to help the company better understand their views on AI.

What has Vimeo said?

In a blog post earlier this week, Moyer said, “After extensive outreach and hearing your thoughts, we are taking a definitive stance contrary to many other community websites: Vimeo will not allow generative AI models to be trained using videos hosted on our platform without your explicit consent, even if you use our free offerings. In addition, we prohibit unauthorized content scraping (by model companies) and continue to implement security protocols designed to protect user-generated content.”

Trust is fundamental

Moyer went on to say, “Many of you expressed concerns about your content’s potential misuse and its implications on your creative rights. Your feedback has been invaluable. We understand that your trust is fundamental to our relationship, and we are committed to preserving that trust”. He also stated that the position on AI was shaped by a desire to protect users’ creative rights. In addition, he said, “It is crucial that you, our creators, have a clear and transparent understanding of when AI is being used, and you want control over how your content is used.” Moyer confirmed that the community’s insights and feedback were central to Vimeo’s decision.

What we think

Most people recognize that generative AI does offer some benefits to creators. However, there are clear risks associated with how the algorithms are trained on existing content. Adobe has developed its own AI ethics principles. The company has also paid some creators to use their content to train its AI. However, Google has approached the issue from the opposite direction. It has stated it will protect you from copyright claims arising from the use of its generative AI products. It’s therefore great to see that Vimeo has listened to its users and firmly put control of their content in their own hands. If your videos are on Vimeo, you can be confident they won’t be used to train generative AI without your permission.

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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