YouTube to Test Video ID System

YouTube plans to launch a video identification system that will help the company sniff out copyrighted material, it said earlier this week. Tests begin initially with Walt Disney and Time Warner.

In about a month, the company will start using clips supplied by the media companies to identify unique characteristics within clips posted by users. If a match is found, the content owner is alerted.

These companies can decide to either remove the content, or leave it up and get a cut of the advertising revenue gained from ads appearing around the video. The technology could eventually be used to block the uploading of copyrighted clips if the studio desires.

A similar technology is already in use to identify copyrighted music within YouTube clips. If successful, it will be made available to other studios by the end of the year, officals say.

Previously, YouTube had said it would have a system like the one announced this week available by the end of last year. However, technical issues and the complexity surrounding such a system delayed its release until now.

The company is hoping this will also calm the ire of content owners, which are beginning to pressure YouTube legally to take some type of action. Most notably, Viacom sued it in March for $1 billion USD after the two sides failed to reach an agreement.

Forrester Research analyst Josh Bernoff believes that such a service may help the company in more ways that just finding copyrighted content. In fact, the stores of video captured could be used to test its search algorithms on.

"If Google gets its way, all those video producers will pipe their video into Google, with descriptions, every day," he said. "And that, my friends, is a pretty good repository to test your video search on."

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