Technology and Business Law Blog

YouTube’s Antipiracy Technology and Licensing

YouTube owned by Google has been accused of not complying with copyright laws since the site is abound with pirated material. So far the company has not had a system to prevent piracy of copyrighted music, movies/videos on it’s website. The problem for YouTube is to identify and keep tab on the music and movies and decide who is the owner of the rights since lots of theYouTube has  posted material is rehashed and mixed.

This year the company planned to introduce technology to help media companies identify pirated videos uploaded by users or detect illegaly copied material before being posted. The technology it’s developing will allow copyright owners “to identify their content, locate it and then make a decision based on whether they want to remove it,” said spokeswoman Julie Supan.

The new technology will be designed to scan a digital audio file, such as an MP3 or video, and compare the electronic “fingerprints” to databases of copyright material.But copyrights can be tricky on sites like YouTube. Even a homemade video can run afoul of the law if it has a professional song playing in the background. Amateur concert footage and other video may be pulled from sites as a precaution simply because it’s unclear who owns the rights.

Viacom had sued Google in March 2007 over copyright infringement and had sought $1 billion in damages. The new technology that Google will introduce will add another layer of software protection for copyright holders such as Viacom. Viacom had several popular television shows such as South Park, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Reno 911. Viacom had ordered the removal of such content from YouTube. The removal order from Viacom caused thousands of illegal videos to be removed from YouTube.

But this technology was offered only as part of  broader negotiations on licensing deals. Now YouTube has signed a licensing deal with the British composer’s group, MCPS-PRS Alliance, that collects royalties for composers, songwriters and publishers. Under this licensing agreement the artists will be paid when their tracks are used as background music for clips on the video sharing website.

September 1, 2007 Posted by | Antipiracy technology, Licensing | Leave a comment