Later this month, YouTube will begin testing technology to identify
user-uploaded video content copyrighted by TimeWarner and Walt
After the video is identified as copyrighted, TimeWarner and Disney
will be able to remove the content or keep it up and split
advertising revenue with YouTube parent-company Google, a company
spokesperson told internetnews.com.
The plan is to make the
same technology, developed internally by Google, available to any
copyright owner later this year, the spokesperson said.
The measure isn’t the first Google and YouTube have taken to fight
copyright piracy on the video-sharing platform, YouTube Product
Counsel Glenn Brown told internetnews.com.
To prevent users from illegally sharing full-length content, YouTube limits video uploads to 10 minutes, Brown said. He also noted a YouTube feature called “hashing,” which memorizes the pattern of a video’s “one and zeros” and permanently blocks it from the platform after a copyright owner so requests.
Google is also participating in a swath of advertising-revenue sharing partnerships, including deals with most of the major music labels.
But those steps haven’t been enough for some copyright owners,
particularly media giant Viacom, which is currently suing Google
for $1 billion over copyright infringement.
According to a copy of the suit, Viacom contends that Google has
intentionally avoided taking “proactive steps” to prevent viewers
from accessing almost 160,000 Viacom clips on YouTube. Viacom said
YouTube users have viewed illegal copies of Viacom programming over
1.5 billion times.
“YouTube is a significant, for-profit organization that has built a
lucrative business out of exploiting the devotion of fans to others’
creative works in order to enrich itself and its corporate parent
Google. Therefore, we must turn to the courts,” Viacom said when it
announced the suit.
Brown said that the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA),
specifically section 5.12, provides safe harbor for Google against
such claims as the law prevents service-providers from being held liable
for user activities.
“Congress was trying to say that it would be too difficult for a wide
range of companies to do business if they are on the hook for what
their users are doing,” Brown said.