Udemy is rightfully hiding behind the DMCA “Safe Harbor” provision on this. Its how Youtube and other video / user content generated sites get away with hosting pirated content.
If it can be proven that Udemy is aware of the piracy and is doing nothing to prevent multiple infringers from operating on its platform then they can and will get sued eventually.
Of course there is a difference between what Udemy is legally obligated to do and what it is obligated to do in the court of public opinion which for a community oriented site is just as important. Clearly they have to be more proactive in this case given the level of piracy that is occuring.
The issue with manually reviewing each and every course is that if a pirated one slips through the cracks, Udemy is no longer protected by DMCA from my understanding which is why they want to remain a community driven site.
My suggestions to curb piracy on Udemy would be as follows:
- Follow the money. Go hard after the pirates’ funds after they are caught.
- Verification process. Before payment is released. Perhaps matching the payment identity to the instructor / organization in the video would work.
- Do a “Verified by Udemy” badge for those courses that have been filtered and offer “life time” subscriptions only for those courses that have this designation.
- As was mentioned in the article, adjust the report features so users don’t have to sign up to report an issue
I’ve never personally taken a Udemy course but my sister has and she found the experience to be really helpful in her learning process so I hope that this negativity will result in something constructive.