It has been five years since YouTube launched their Content ID system that was meant to help content creators manage where it appears on YouTube. It sounds like an extremely useful service for small time creators. Content owners supply reference files that the service used to decide whether a video may contain infringing material.
In reality, the automated service and the large media companies who are its biggest users have been criticized for casting too wide a net in an effort to try to curb infringing material. Once a claim has been filed, the system automatically matches videos to references and if they see a similarity the video is taken down. The problem is even if the content creator has the right to use the video, the system does not take it into consideration and is issues a DMCA takedown notice.
A high-profile example of the Content ID system taking down a legitimate video is of the NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity’s landing posted in their main YouTube channel, which had been taken down by the service because “This video contains content from Scripps Local News, who has blocked it on copyright grounds. Sorry about that.” The problem was resolved a few hours later, but it still shows how heavy handed the approach is.
To combat this problem, YouTube has updated their algorithms to identify potentially invalid claims, stopped the system from automatically affecting said videos and placed them in a queue for manual review.
Source: YouTube Blog