RealTime IT News

An ACID Solution To Copyright Protection

SAN FRANCISO -- Autonomy has unveiled a unique solution to the issue of copyright protection. The company's Virage division has released Automatic Copyright Infringement Detection (ACID) software that promises to automatically detect any rich media that infringes an organization's copyright. The idea is to eliminate the need for content owners to spend time trawling through video sharing Web sites or other areas they suspect might be home to infringements.

The software was announced here at a press event focused on the company's stable of "Meaning-Based Computing" infrastructure products. Autonomy said it offers the world's first technology to automatically capture, encode and index television, video and audio content from any source, including live feeds and archived data.

ACID works on top of Autonomy's patented image and audio analysis technology. An enterprise implementation starts at about $350,000. Autonomy lists some of the world's leading media companies among its customers, including the BBC, Viacom, HBO, Bloomberg and Martha Stewart. None have yet publicly stated whether they plan to use the just-released Virage ACID. Viacom filed suit against YouTube earlier this year over copyright infringement.

"I think this is a huge differentiator for Autonomy," Debra Logan, research vice president at Gartner, told internetnews.com. "It depends on how widely it's deployed, but ACID could put a dent in the copyright infringement problem, which has been going on for years, but has gotten much worse with the rise of services like YouTube."

Mike Lynch, founder and CEO of Autonomy worldwide, said ACID scans videos online even if they've been tagged, edited, or run on a different codec . "It watches at the level of what's on the screen for infringement.

In a demo of its broader search portfolio of products, Autonomy buttressed its claim of being the only company to "deep index" video. Beyond the media companies mentioned earlier, such big firms as Coca-Cola, Citgroup, Philips, Nokia, Nissan and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, are customers.

In the demo, a search for the term "tsunami" produced results that included a video of a related CNN news broadcast. Once selected, a feature called SoftSound, performed a simultaneous transcript of what Lou Dobbs was saying. A Face ID feature listed all the proper names mentioned in a separate window. You can click on any of the names and jump right to that related portion of the video. A separate storyboard of images on the bottom of the screen was also available to jump to specific clips.

Scott Petrie, knowledge engineer for the knowledge management & collaboration group within BAE Systems (the U.S. arm of British Aerospace), said they started deploying Autonomy two years ago to replace and augment a variety of search solutions that couldn't handle its massive data requirements. The company has over 88,000 employees worldwide.

"We have terabytes of data but most of these things exist in isolation. We needed something that sit on top of all our repositories and return results in a consistent manner," said Petrie.

Petrie said without Autonomy, he would have found it difficult to manage the recent growth in wikis being deployed at different parts of the company. "I found there were 45 different wikis built on different software, some of it open source," said Petrie.

Autonomy's Lynch raised a controversial note when he said he believes "the industry's obsession with tagging and structure is fundamentally wrong."

During a brief overview of the evolution of computing, Lynch noted that structure has been added largely to make it easier for computers to process data.

"If you have tags, that's fine, but you also have to step up and understand meaning and concepts," said Lynch. "I think we'll see more unstructured and more dynamic information, not less."