YouTube is rewarding users who do what it asks of them.
The company announced in a blog post yesterday that it has lifted the 15-minute limit on video uploads for "selected users" who have "a history of complying with the YouTube Community Guidelines and our copyright rules." It seems that those who have violated its terms in the past are still limited to 15 minutes.
YouTube didn't explicitly say for sure that well-behaved users will have an unlimited amount of time for their uploads, but it did say that if users upload "original content, it's fair game, regardless of length," indicating that there will be no limit on those users.
YouTube cited its Video ID and Audio ID service, which identifies copyrighted content uploaded to the site by someone other than the copyright holder, as the main reason for eliminating the 15-minute limit on some users.
YouTube's Video ID and Audio ID service works by asking rights holders to provide the online video site with reference material that it then uses to compare to uploaded content. The service also allows those copyright owners to determine, prior to the infringement, how they want to handle it. They can choose to "make money from them, get stats on them, or block them from YouTube altogether," YouTube says on its site.
YouTube first implemented time limits on video uploads in 2006 after facing pressure from copyright holders. At the time, the company set the limit to 10 minutes per video. That limit didn't change until earlier this year when the company announced that it to 15 minutes.