YouTube Close To Implementing Anti-Piracy Technology

Posted on February 23, 2007

The Mercury News and TechCrunch are both reporting on YouTube's decision to use copyright filtering technology provided by Audible Magic. The technology will help YouTube locate and remove videos that are violating copyright. YouTube can then delete the videos from its index. YouTube could also scan content that users are submitting and never allow it to be added. Charlene Li at explains how Audible Magic finds copyright violations.

Audible Magic started out making software that CD duplicators use to verify the copyright status of discs they're about to manufacture. If you go to a duplicator and ask them make 10'000 CDs, they're going to first run it through AM's Replicheck software to make sure you've got the rights to your content. This works because AM has two key advantages.

1. Every significant music distributor (and now film and video, too) sends its content to AM to be logged into the database. So AM's database is always up to date with millions and millions of files to compare.
2. AM has (and has continually improved) "fingerprinting" technology that can recognize that content, even if you ripped it at a different bit rate, removed the first ten seconds, or recorded it off a jukebox at a bar.

The Mercury News says find violations of film and tv content may take longer because Audible Magic does not have a complete database of film and tv footage.
One potential snag in implementing the company's technology at YouTube is that the database of audio for movies and television shows is incomplete. "We have to have access to all the television and film content to be able to fingerprint," Ikezoye said.

"It isn't that complicated of a process," he added. "It could be done in months."

Meanwhile, Audible Magic is also working on a way to compare video images themselves. Ikezoye said that service should be ready later in the year.

Charlene Li also writes: "What's mystifying is why YouTube announced in September it would have checking in place by year-end, then missed its own deadline, and only now has figured out that duplicating the seven years of software development and content relationships at Audible Magic isn't easy."

It does seem as if YouTube was stalling and trying to delay the application of any kind of filter for as long as they possibly could. According to the Mercury News story some still don't believe YouTube will do what they say.

The news that Google was ready to start filtering, however, was greeted with skepticism. "YouTube and Google have been promising filtering tools for many, many months, while the damage to copyright owners continues," a spokesman for Viacom said.
Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt promised in a Reuters interview yesterday that anti-piracy tools will be added to YouTube "very soon." Schmidt told Reuters, "It is going to roll out very soon ... It is not far away."

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