Monday, July 30, 2007

YouTube Works on Copyright Video Filtering Technology

In an effort to ward off evil, copy-written videos from being posted on YouTube, Google says its working on some sort of video-recognition technology that would be able to detect content that infringes upon copyrights before it is actually posted.

Although I don’t think it’s right to leave a problem to fend for itself, I also wonder how well such a technology would work. It’s no secret that every time a technology is introduced to prevent illegal copying or distribution of content online, some tech geek hacker finds a way to crack it, and we’re back to square one again.

In some ways, the current method of waiting until illegal material has been flagged and promptly removing it might be the most successful way to go. Sure, some content ends up leaking to a small portion of visitors that manage to catch the video in time (like in the case of the movie Sicko, where about 600 people saw it before it was removed). But is preventing this worth the possibility that the new technology could wrongfully identify a personal video and prevent someone from posting their own stuff? What’s more, if someone is anxious enough to view leaked content online, he’s probably just as anxious to get out there and watch the actual movie/show as well.

Trying to control the behaviour of millions and millions of users will indeed be difficult; especially since YouTube sees thousands of videos posted on its site per day. But it’s a move Google must make in order to protect the rights of content owners. This is especially important since several lawsuits have been made against Google/YouTube, claiming that the company allowed thousands of unauthorized clips to be posted.

According to Times Online, a Viacom lawyer (one of the firm’s named in the suit) said that if the filtering mechanism helps, they’d be "very grateful" for it. But, all plaintiffs in the suit feel that YouTube should have acted sooner.

Google says the new filtering technology should be implemented by September. I can’t wait to see how it pans out!

No comments: