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Thu, Jun 14, 2007 - Page 10 News List

YouTube to test technology that removes pirated video


The popular video sharing Web site YouTube will begin testing video recognition technology in an effort to help remove pirated content.

The test will begin next month with hopes that the software, designed to recognize copyright content in videos, will be ready to roll out later this year, the company said. The testing will be in conjunction with partners Time Warner Inc and the Walt Disney Co.

The site's owner, Google Inc, has pledged to adopt some kind of solution to identify copyright content on its site so it can remove pirated content or negotiate with owners for a license.

While many of YouTube's videos are homegrown, copyright content from such partners as CBS and NBC also attracts viewers. Protecting those relationships is key for online video sites.

The importance of those relationships was highlighted in March, when Viacom Inc sued YouTube and Google for more than US$1 billion in a federal complaint alleging YouTube has not done enough to prevent its users from posting thousands of copyright clips to the site.

YouTube said it had started using audio recognition technology from Audible Magic Corp earlier this year to either block unauthorized content or pay royalties to the major record labels who have licensed their content to the site.

The company was already searching for a similar video fingerprinting technology when it was bought out by Google last October for US$1.65 billion.

"What we found was that no one had anything we felt was accurate enough and scalable enough for our needs," YouTube partner development director Chris Maxcy said on Tuesday.

YouTube engineers discovered that Google had been developing such video technology.

"The technology is built for maximum flexibility," he said. "It can be used to remove content once it is identified or used to license content where we pay a revenue share to our partners."

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