YouTube copyright clampdown begins

30 Jul 2007

Technology to filter out illegally uploaded copyright material has been in development for some time by video sharing site YouTube and will be in use by September.

The Google-owned site is busy implementing changes and defending itself following legal action taken by Viacom to the tune of US$1.1bn for copyright infringement, as well as suits filed by the UK Premier Football League, the National French Football League and music publishers Cherry Lane and Bourne among others.

In June, Google, in collaboration with media companies including Disney and Time Warner, said anti-piracy software is being tested that effectively fingerprints user-uploaded videos for copyright violation, testing against a database of genuine video supplied by the copyright owners.

This copyright filter, Google claims, according to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, is going beyond its remit as a video hosting service to accept responsibility for the content posted by users as long as YouTube takes down each copyrighted video at the request of the owner.

Currently the only flagging system YouTube has in place is whereby individual users mark content as inappropriate or the copyright owner itself spots illegally used video clips and requests that YouTube take them down.

Both Microsoft and MySpace already have filtering techniques in place to combat copyright violation.

By Marie Boran