Google, YouTube Make Progress Toward Copyright Protection

Lora Bentley

The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that Google has devised a plan to prevent copyrighted material from being shared on YouTube without permission. But it will require substantial cooperation from content owners, who will need to give master copies of their videos to YouTube. But rest assured. As writer Michelle Quinn puts it:

YouTube won't post those videos. Rather, it plans to use software to find unique characteristics in the clips so it can detect copies posted by YouTube users without permission. Media companies can ask Google to automatically delete every unauthorized copy -- or to slap ads on the clips and promote them.

Time Warner, Disney, Hearst-Argyle Television and others have tested the video matching system. A Time Warner spokesperson says the company is encouraged:

I'm told by our general counsel that there's still some work to be done before we would say it's totally sufficient to protect copyright, but we're encouraged so far.

The tests uncovered 18 pieces of Hearst-Argyle content that had been improperly uploaded to YouTube, the story says. Viacom, though not included in the partner list, indicates that Google is "moving in the right direction" with the video matching system and should be commended.

 

Not everyone is happy, however. Public Knowledge, an advocacy group, argues that the system could remove video clips that are used appropriately under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act for "for criticism, satire or education."

 

YouTube says the technology accounts for such fair uses, according to The Los Angeles Times.



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