updated 04:40 pm EDT, Fri July 27, 2007
YouTube Auto Blocking
Google will soon automatically block illegally uploaded movies on YouTube in the near future, a member of the search engine firm's legal team said on Friday. In a courtroom defending itself against Viacom's $1 billion lawsuit, the lawyer explained that Google and YouTube had developed a form of video fingerprinting that could automatically identify clips based on their similarity to a certain profile, screening illegally copied segments from reaching the site's public pages. The process takes a few minutes but would complete in time to have a meaningful impact on copyrighted works, Google claimed.
The technique should be ready by September and might play a decisive role in ending the Viacom suit, which alleges that YouTube has knowingly done little to pull down copyrighted TV shows and other segments as they appear. Google and others have denied any wrongdoing and note that the current system makes it difficult to permanently remove clips, as new uploads of bootleg videos are likely to occur just as old ones are taken down.
Neither Google nor Viacom has commented on the effect the auto-blocking system will have on the lawsuit.