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February 24, 2007

YouTube Will Filter Copyright-Infringing Videos

YouTube was in the press in the latest months with news about copyrighted videos that were removed from the site, fragile partnerships with content owners, and a content identification technology that was repeatedly delayed.

Reuters reports that Google will roll out the copyright protection technologies pretty soon. But Google won't make these tools available to anyone, or at least to the major content providers. They want make deals with them before filtering the copyrighted videos. "YouTube said the process of identifying copyrighted material is not an automated process and required the cooperation of media company partners", but the companies see the whole thing as a blackmail.

MediaNews speculates that "Google will use technology from Los Gatos-based Audible Magic Corp. That company's software was mentioned in the U.S. Supreme Court's Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios vs. Grokster ruling as evidence that file-sharing services could keep pirated files off their networks."

It's natural to try to see if a video uses music from Universal and share some revenue with the company. This technology will allow YouTube to know more about the videos, as they rely only on the metadata at the moment. It could also be the beginning of a more comfortable relationship with media companies and we'll see more things like AudioSwap.

AudioSwap is a new project from TestTube, a place for YouTube experiments (similar to Google Labs). You upload a video and YouTube lets you choose a new soundtrack. "We've made arrangements with artists and record labels so that you can add their songs to your YouTube videos. You get a cool soundtrack, the artists get attribution on your video, and everyone wins!"

1. Do you see any resemblance between YouTube and peer-to-peer networks like Napster?
2. Why do you visit YouTube: for original content created by YouTube users or for TV shows and music videos?

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