YouTube removes video time limits

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Have you been dying to upload Threat Level Midnight? You know, that two-hour movie you filmed in your backyard, starring Agent Michael Scarn? Well, according to YouTube’s blog, you won’t have to upload it in 15 minute chunks any more. The video site is lifting limits on the length of videos, as long as you have a history of complying with copyright laws.

YouTube, owned by Google, credits the new unlimited time limits on advances in its Content ID system, a sophisticated detection technology which scans all new YouTube videos for known copyrighted material. More than 1,000 publishers use the detection system to manage how their content is displayed on YouTube, the world’s largest video site. About a week ago, Google laid out several ways it is working with copyright holders to prevent piracy on YouTube and Google Search.

Not all users are eligible for unlimited-length video uploading, only those with a track record of not violating copyright law. We don’t know if new users will be allowed to post long videos or if they have to earn this right by posting several legitimate short videos first. To see if your account qualifies for the upgrade, click on the Upload button on the top of YouTube.

An improvement?

It will be interesting to see if longer videos improves the YouTube experience. In November, the video site announced it was working on “smart topics,” a new way to automatically categorize videos. Currently, if you’re looking for a specific video, YouTube’s search works great, but finding, say, “funny stupid videos” on the site yields sporadic results. Once up and running, such a system may help identify quality, movie-length content. This new lift on length may also lead to longer, higher quality content like TV shows making it onto the site.

Are you planning on uploading a 15+ minute keyboard cat episode now that Google has lifted its time limits?