YouTube will start testing home-grown video-filtering software in July
YouTube Partner Development Director Chris Maxcy in an interview said the company was building its own video-fingerprinting technology, after concluding that existing technology from other providers wouldn't meet its needs. Video fingerprinting is based on the premise that any video content has unique attributes that allow it to be identified even from a short clip -- just as a human fingerprint identifies a person.
YouTube and other video-sharing sites hope the technology will spot television shows and films posted by consumers without the content owners' permission, so the sites can remove them or share advertising revenue. Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt has said that fingerprinting technology is key to resolving copyright battles between media and technology companies over online video, such as Viacom Inc.'s $1 billion suit against Google filed in March. Some media executives have accused YouTube of dragging its feet in implementing such technology in order to profit from copyright infringement as long as possible, a charge the video site has denied.
Disney and Time Warner are involved with the test; YouTube CEO Chad Hurley says the company will open up the fingerprinting technology to all content owners by this fall.