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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 June 2007, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
YouTube to test video ID software
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The video fingerprinting software is to be tested in about a month's time
Internet video site YouTube is to test a new video fingerprinting technology to address copyright concerns.

The software will identify unique attributes in video clips and could be used to prevent copyrighted clips from being uploaded without permission.

YouTube executive Chris Maxcy told news agency Reuters that the tool would be tested in a month's time.

Breach of copyright has been an ongoing issue for the Google-owned video sharing site.

In March, media company Viacom launched a lawsuit against the company for $1bn (507m).

The firm, which owns MTV and Nickelodeon, charged Google and YouTube with "massive intentional copyright infringement" for alleged unauthorised use of its clips.

It is also being sued by the English Premier League over alleged copyright infringement.

YouTube has denied these claims, but it has vowed to take a tough line on copyright violation.


One of these measures has been to research new technologies, and this latest video identification software has been developed by its parent company Google.

By identifying a video clips' unique "fingerprint", the software would be able to spot copyrighted material.

The owner would then have the option of removing it, or it could leave it on the site in exchange for a share of the advertising revenue.

Mr Maxcy told Reuters that the technology was to be tested with a number of partners, including media giants Disney and Time Warner.

He said that if the tests proved successful, the tools would be made available to any copyright owners later this year.

He added that the company had also been testing methods for identifying audio clips using technology from content protection firm Audible Magic.

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