YouTube and the Great Copyright Challenge

Where there's a will there's a way! Like with the DRM of the BBC iPlayer (the code which causes iPlayer programmes to self-destruct after 30 days), which was cracked recently - you can pay people loads'a money to write code to protect your content, but there will always be the techies who are much more willing to spend longer trying to hack it, simply for the pleasure of beating the big boys (and besides it's much easier to break code than to write it). What's more the continued rise in the use of Peer-2-Peer means that anything can be shared with anyone, irrespective of the legality, and this seems to be particularly ubiquitous amongst University students. Nether-the-less organisations such as Google and the BBC must be "seen" to be making an effort and today Google announced its latest strategy...

In Broadcast today:
Google has unveiled widely-anticipated technology to stop illicit access to copyrighted material on its YouTube video-sharing service. The technology identifies content owned by media companies and can dictate its usage on YouTube.

However, it cannot pre-empt the posting of content, leaving the work of identifying it up to content owners. Google has been dogged by copyright issues since it acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion in October 2006. MTV parent company Viacom launched a lawsuit against Google earlier this year for what it called "massive" copyright infringement.

The technology requires copyright owners to first upload their content to a Google database before it is broken down into data points and analyzed. Any matching versions that get posted will then be automatically flagged. Viacom general counsel Michael Fricklas said the company was "delighted that Google appears to be stepping up to its responsibility".
However, it is unclear whether Viacom will still pursue Google for damages related to past infringements.

Google's $1 billion lawsuit includes actions brought from the English Premier League, Rugby Football League, the Finnish Football League Association, author Daniel Quinn and music publisher Bourne & Co.

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