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Monday, October 15, 2007

YouTube launches new content-tracking tools

Was working today on a Variety piece about YouTube's new content filtering system, dubbed "Video ID." It's intended to help ferret out copyrighted content on the site, zapping it within minutes.

The story is here. Disney, Time Warner, and seven other media companies have been involved in beta-testing it. From the story:

    “We are looking to build working relationships with media companies,” says David King, YouTube’s product manager, “to give the rights owners control, and to maximize their choices.” While YouTube has previously licensed technology from Audible Magic to look for infringing music on the site, it decided to build the Video ID service on its own.

You can see YouTube's sign-up page for the Video ID program right here.

CNET has a very good piece here. The Reuters story is here. The official Google blog entry is here.

What will be interesting is whether Google/YouTube considers this vast database of copyright content it is now building to be "proprietary." IE, this could become a major competitive advantage -- one that prevents other sites from effectively competing with YouTube. I asked King whether YouTube would consider making the database open to other video players, so that they could use it as a reference, as content was uploaded to their sites.

"Consistent with most Google products, we're building this with the idea of making it more generally available," Zahavah Levine, YouTube's general counsel, told me. "We would like to make it available to third-party sites."

That's a cool approach...we'll see how it plays out.

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