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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?


  1. I don't agree that Google is most likely to go with Audible, they recently posted a lot of information on their own research into this field on the Google research blog. I've seen this commented on before around the web (e.g. here), and I think its likely, Google likes to keep stuff in-house, it lets them optimise everything better.

  2. I do not see a resemblance to Napster because YouTube does not openly and easily allow you to download content.

    I visit YouTube to watch viral videos (usually user-made) AND television shows. I also go there to watch obscure shows from other countries, such as Japan and Korea. This last reason is why I feel YouTube is so great; it has an enormous diversity of video content.

  3. I visit YouTube for the original videos, why watch TV in a 4 inch box on my monitor?

  4. I agree with Tijir. What with large HDTV's and a desire for quality. You tube takes a step backwards. The quality is horrible and putting it to full screen does not help a bit. And you may say: "Well damn, It serves it up quick and you can watch as many as you want, w/e you want." But thats what tivo is for (or a recording device of some type). Or hell just buy it at HMV.

    Viral videos are getting boring. Some user made content is interesting but its to hard to filter out the good from the bad.

    Also, YouTube is nothing like Napster. If you want quality content (music or video) its about going to the store or bit torrent.

  5. I don't agree with the Napster comparison either, because Napster's intention was to be a tool to find music, while YouTube wanted to be a community where users upload their videos. But here's an interesting snippet from Wikipedia:

    "Napster's facilitation of transfer of copyrighted material raised the ire of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which almost immediately — in December 1999 — filed a lawsuit against the popular service. The service would only get bigger as the trial, meant to shut down Napster, also gave it a great deal of publicity. Soon millions of users, many of them college students, flocked to it.

    After a failed appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court, an injunction was issued on March 5, 2001 ordering Napster to prevent the trading of copyrighted music on its network. In July 2001, Napster shut down its entire network in order to comply with the injunction. On September 24, 2001, the case was partially settled. Napster agreed to pay music creators and copyright owners a $26 million settlement for past, unauthorized uses of music, as well as an advance against future licensing royalties of $10 million. In order to pay those fees, Napster attempted to convert their free service to a subscription system. A prototype solution was tested in the spring of 2002: the Napster 3.0 Alpha, using audio fingerprinting technology licensed from Relatable. Napster 3.0 was, according to many former Napster employees, ready to deploy, but it had significant trouble obtaining licenses to distribute major-label music.

    On May 17, 2002, Napster announced that its assets would be acquired by German media firm Bertelsmann for $8 million. Pursuant to terms of that agreement, on June 3 Napster filed for Chapter 11 protection under United States bankruptcy laws. On September 3, 2002, an American bankruptcy judge blocked the sale to Bertelsmann and forced Napster to liquidate its assets according to Chapter 7 of the U.S. bankruptcy laws. Most of the Napster staff were laid off, and the website changed to display Napster was here."

  6. in Spain removing of videos even if they are a few seconds long has started. Please remove all your "copyrighted"? videos, cause with 3 removed videos, your youtube account gets CANCELLED forever, everything deleted (favorites, susbscriptios... everything), and with no prior warning.

  7. I see music videos that I want to se once or to listen the song and then download it. but not more that one time.

    I only download videos made for users, that I can't found in a P2P.

  8. I like to see videos when I search for bands that I never heard of, and looking for trailers to movies.

  9. I think it's a mistake to filter videos. People are not making business of this videos, and the companies neither. Maybe you will find fragments of copyrighted videos that are interesting for you, but you watch it once and thats it. Or fragments that people put from a show or tv program. And sometimes, you find videos that you cannot buy because it is not available, it is not being sold, because they will not make any money on that. I dont think YouTube is there to replace "movies"...