MySpace Adds Video Filtering System

Mammoth social netwowking site MySpace announced today that it is launching a trial program aimed at preventing unauthorized, copyrighted video from being upload to its site. MySpace has partnered with Audible Magic on the pilot system, expanding on an earlier program to block unauthorized music uploads to the site.

The new system uses audio fingerprinting technology developed by Audio Magic to identify digital signatures in user’s video uploads and bock any video matching a fingerprint in MySpace’s database of known copyrighted content. Universal Music Group, NBC Universal, and MySpace parent company Fox are on board as the first partners in the video filtering program. MySpace is currently blocking uploaded audio and video content which the system believes contains music from the Universal Music Group; Universal does permit free promotional use of selected media on MySpace.

The move puts MySpace one step ahead of online video kingpin YouTube, which has promised (but has yet to unveil) technology designed to tag and block unauthorized video content uploaded to the site.

“MySpace is dedicated to ensuring that content owners, whether large or small, can both promote and protect their content in our community,” said Chris DeWolfe, CEO and co-founder of MySpace. “For MySpace, video filtering is about protecting artists and the work they create.”

MySpace is also developing a “content takedown tool,” already available to some partners, to make it easier for copyright owners to request removal of content uploaded to the site by users that the owners claim is unauthorized. The company claims its full range of content protection tools are available free of charge to all music labels and content owners.

“With the explosive growth and popularity of MySpace, the recognition and filtering of copyrights will play an important role in its ongoing success,” said Vance Ikezoye, CEO and founder of Audible Magic. “Audible Magic has a long history with identification technology and the content industry that allows us to offer comprehensive, reliable and mature solutions for user-contributed content. As a result, Audible Magic is ideally suited to support MySpace’s protection of copyrighted works.”

Audible Magic’s technology uses “acoustic fingerprinting” to identify audio tracks by analyzing a small portion of its content, and is capable of identifying copyrighted material in some cases even if it’s been somewhat altered or modified from its original form.