YouTube, once a wild west of easily accessible copyrighted material on the Web, will soon crack down on rights infringement with a digital copyright checking process. According to a lawyer for parent company Google, the system will automatically scan all uploaded content for digital fingerprints that indicate the content is protected, instead of relying on conscientious users to flag the content manually.
Word of the new technology came in court on Friday, where Google is currently locked in battle with copyright holder Viacom for allegedly distributing protected content such as The Daily Show on its site. While the technology may prevent future lawsuits, it’s unlikely to halt the case with Viacom since the company is seeking damages for past violations.
Google was vague about when the new system would be implemented, and didn’t offer many details on how it would actually function. “We hope to have the testing completed and technology available by sometime in the fall,” a Google spokesman told CNET in an e-mail. “But this is one of the most technologically complicated tasks that we have ever undertaken, and as always with cutting-edge technologies, it’s difficult to forecast specific launch dates.”
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