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October 15, 2007

YouTube's Video Identification Technology

YouTube has finally launched an identification tool that should allow content publishers to detect copyright infringements. "Video Identification goes above and beyond our legal responsibilities. It will help copyright holders identify their works on YouTube, and choose what they want done with their videos: whether to block, promote, or even—if a copyright holder chooses to license their content to appear on the site—monetize their videos. (...) Video Identification aims for three main goals: accurate identification, choice for copyright holders, and a great user experience."

Previously named "claim your content", the technology was announced last year, but it was delayed multiple times. "This is one of the most technologically complicated tasks that we have ever undertaken," said Steve Chan, YouTube's co-founder.

The tool is in beta, but anyone can sign up to try it. Video Identification has other purposes too: Google wants to show that it does more than it should to prevent copyright infringements and builds a stronger case in the Viacom trial. As YouTube extends the revenue sharing opportunities to all the users, the tool will help deciding if a video infringes copyright.

"As we scale and refine our system, YouTube Video Identification will be available to all kinds of copyright holders all over the world, whether they want their content to appear on YouTube or not. No matter how accurate the tools get, it is important to remember that no technology can tell legal from infringing material without the cooperation of the content owners themselves. This means that copyright holders who want to use and help us refine our Video ID system will be providing the necessary information to help us recognize their work. We aim to make that process as convenient as possible," explains YouTube.

This is a great opportunity for Google to build a huge library of videos from content owners and improve the quality of its video search engine by analyzing the relation between videos.

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