June 13, 2007 |
In the news yesterday YouTube announced they plan to test new fingerprinting technology that will address the copyright issues that are causing them huge legal woes. This new software will identify unique attributes in video clips that may allow for the prevention of uploading copyrighted clips without permission.
YouTube executive Chris Macy told Reuters that the tool would be tested in about a month according to a story via the BBC. Breach of copyright has been a thorn in Google's and YouTube's side since the advent of the Viacom $1 billion lawsuit. Subsequent filings from the English Premier League and co-plaintiffs have further exacerbated the problem.
We have covered these lawsuits rather extensively, and from a familiarity standpoint this is either posturing for the courts by YouTube, an absolute "caving" in an effort to reduce the damages or a preamble to some kind of settlement. Personally, given Google's "masters of the universe" attitude towards anyone in their way, I would not doubt that their lawyers still think they can win with delayed symbolic appropriateness like this. I arrived at this hypothesis because of the wording in YouTube's statement that they deny all these claims but vow to take a tough line on copyright violation.
Watch For Sidestepping
Macy also told Reuters than the technology, developed by Google, would be tested with partners including Disney and Time Warner. If the tests are successful the tools will be made available to any copyright owners later this year. Macy also pointed out that the company has also been testing similar audio recognition technology from content protection firm Audible Magic. It would not surprise me in the least to see Google market the new software to the very people they have been abusing, if for no other reason than to offset the court costs and any penalties they have to pay.
Back and Forth
We just can't wait to see the next episode of Google vs. Everyone. This is like watching a preconscious child plead for more allowance. Can I have $20? How about $19, well okay how about $18? If I did not know better I would think Harvard educated bean counters and lawyers had taken over the world and are trying to squeeze the last drop of everything out of it. Oh, they have? What ever happened to taking responsibility for actions and just admitting mistakes? Perhaps no mistakes were made at all in Google's plans, but that is just more food for thought!