YouTube, once the wild west of user-fuelled Internet
broadcasting, will soon have a new sheriff in town. Google, owner of YouTube,
said that it hopes to have new technology in place in September to half the
posting of copyrighted videos on its website.
Google lawyer Philip S. Beck told a U.S. District Judge currently
involved in the company’s legal matters that YouTube is working “very intensely
and cooperating” with major content companies on video recognition technology
as sophisticated as the fingerprint technology used by the F.B.I., according to
Beck described the system as a recognition technology that
would rely on digital fingerprints that copyright holders would provide to
YouTube to help filter out illegal uploads. Once the fingerprint is in the
system, YouTube’s software would be able to recognized and remove it within a
minute or two.
Google says that it hopes that its new software would end
the complaints – and litigation – from companies such as Viacom.
“Perhaps the filtering mechanism will help. If so, we’ll be
very grateful for that,” said Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., a lawyer for Viacom.
In March, Viacom filed
a lawsuit against Google alleging that the Mountain View, Calif. software
company intentionally committed massive copyright infringement of Viacom’s
properties. The lawsuit seeks more than $1 billion in damages, in addition to
an injunction that will prohibit Google/YouTube from further copyright
infringement. Google later responded to the lawsuit by denying that it had
done anything illegal.