YouTube deploys copyright ID system

News: After much delay, YouTube finally deployed its filtering type system for copyright owners. The system apparently is based on a database of copyrighted videos submitted to YouTube by the content owners that can be used to automatically identify copies of the same video uploaded to YouTube without authorization. YouTube makes a digital fingerprint of the submitted videos, which then can be used to track copies of the same videos. The system even reportedly is able to identify close copies of a copyrighted show, such as when someone tapes a show by pointing a video camera at it. Google CEO Eric Schmidt says no system can be 100% effective; realistically, they’re shooting for 80 to 90% effectiveness. Google and YouTube developed the system with participation from Time Warner, CBS, Disney, NBC Universal, and Viacom, the latter of which is, of course, suing YouTube for copyright infringement. (More and here.)

Analysis: The filtering system sounds pretty sophisticated.  The catch, of course, is that YouTube needs copyright owners to submit their content to YouTube’s database. Or at least that’s how it’s being described in the press reports. Some copyright holders probably won’t think this filtering system is enough. As Rob Gould, marketing VP for Broadcaster.com, said, “If there has been a clip from ‘American Idol’ posted to the site by Joe Schmoe in Oklahoma instead of Fox, you can be pretty sure it’s not supposed to be there.”

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