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YouTube CTO Outlines Copy Protection Tools


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April 03, 2006

YouTube CTO Outlines Copy Protection Tools

Heather Green

Steve Chen, the CTO of YouTube, outlined for me some of the steps the video sharing service is taking to try to provide better copy protection for copyright owners. It comes down to education, better tools for copyright owners, and more sophisticated better back-end tools.

The company recently rolled out tools to simplify the process of identifying copyrighted videos. This process is also automated now and can be done online, Chen says.

YouTube has also implemented a back-end technique that fingerprints each video that's taken down. Videos that have the same fingerprint are rejected automatically and can't be loaded onto the system.

They are also doing more user education. "What we have noticed at YouTube is that many users who have uploaded infringing content are unaware that it's illegal to do so. By augmenting the pages in the upload process with educational text regarding the type of content that can be uploaded to YouTube, we have seen a sharp, overall reduction with users uploading copyrighted materials," Chen says.

These moves come in addition to the new 10-minute limit on clips, which is designed to keep people from uploading entire versions of The Office or Simpsons.

They're reactive steps, which means that any video can be loaded on the service, but will be taken down if a content owner thinks it's copyrighted works. Will that be enough? The MPAA has described YouTube as a "good corporate citizen," but also warned that that service needs to do a better job of policing their network and figure out a way to limit the copyrighted material that ends up on their site.

The big question to me is whether their traffic will suffer as they try to achieve a balance? Chen described these tools to me as a part of a profile I did of him and YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley in the magazine. In that story, I write that "If they cater too much to their users, they risk getting sued for copyright violations and losing the support of content companies. If they're seen as favoring content companies, however, they could lose their millions of fans."

10:05 AM

digital media

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This is a bunch of bullshit. youtube has no interest in protecting copyright. There whole business was built on copyright infringement and they continue to allow copyrighted material on their site...all they care about is traffic and not getting take down notices...they don't care about breaking rules as long as they don't get in trouble.

Posted by: Chey at April 3, 2006 01:56 PM

Bah, copyright is irrelevant in the digital age. It's about time the countless companies and individuals (nearly everyone except the RIAA/MPAA) who benefit from digital freedom stood up for their liberties.

Posted by: Paul D at April 7, 2006 11:03 AM

Hi Heather..

I guess the copyright approach is long pass?...

What the media moguls need to understand is that there is very little you can do to stop the flow of information in the digital era..

In fact...the business model of You-Tube might just be encouraging users to buy more copyrighted stuff...

Here's how:

1. The time limit of the videos is just 10 mins now...so most of the times people can't get to see the whole stuff. This leaves them wanting for more.

2. Most the posted videos are of poor quality/resolution (as compared to DVD et al.)

3. In effect...the videos are advertising the content for the media houses. Most people like to have a feel of the thing before buying it. It's like use-before-you buy thing.

4. Eventually, a small percentage of people do go out and order the original stuff from Amazon and other places. I can tell you this from experience. I see it happening eveyday. All you have to do is take a look at few of the comments left by the users...bottomline is....they want the REAL stuff!!

Posted by: mojorocks at August 4, 2006 02:43 AM

I predict youtube will see its downfall due to the huge number of videos been rejected due to copyright or a little bit of nudity, like chicks palyin at the beach in their bikinis.

I contributed good quality videos of my g/friends foolin at the beach like posing their asses a little in their bikinnis, also playin vollyball. these were rejected after tens of thousands of views .... i avoid the site

PRUDE DORKS...

Posted by: 101 at April 15, 2007 05:01 AM

Hi, I believe that the copyright should be taken seriously by the users of Youtube because the people that actually make the films they watch have worked hard to produce them and may not want people to wattch their videos for free. But of course I have always believed that the internet is for free, also just like watching a video with your friends (which is legal) you watch it with many other people.

I think that if the companies really just cared about copyright, they could just sell their products on the internet for a VERY cheap price, even if they do not profit as much they will at least get something instead of people going and watching it for free.

Posted by: Fouad Al Noor at May 8, 2007 05:40 PM


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