Advanced Television

VI to clean up YouTube

October 17, 2007

Google unveiled new software to fight video piracy on YouTube and ease the concerns of critical media content providers. Google has begun offering what it’s calling “YouTube Video Identification,” which will make it easier for the likes of to identify their content and to manage how it is made available on the site, it is meant to identify potentially infringing video content.

Google said nine media firms, including Walt Disney and Time Warner, participated in a test of the product. Several other media firms, including Viacom, also said they were encouraged by the new effort, but said Google and YouTube have some amount of goodwill to make up to copyright owners.

“We’re delighted that Google appears to be stepping up to its responsibility and ending the practice of profiting from infringement,” said Mike Fricklas, general counsel of Viacom.

YouTube’s announcement may have been designed to pre-empt a planned announcement from several media and technology companies for a set of principles for user-generated content Web sites. These are said to include a recognition of the importance of technology to keep pirated material off sites like YouTube.

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