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Digital Fingerprinting: A Good Video Piracy Solution, Not A Magic Bullet

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If media companies’ attempts to track down unauthorized use of their video content on file-sharing services was akin to looking for a needle in a haystack, Audible Magic believes it has a very powerful magnet necessary to the task. In a NYT profile, the Los Gatos, CA company demonstrates its content-recognition software, which Audible Magic claims can locate even the blurriest forms of online video piracy. The demonstration involved Vance Ikezoye, Audible Magic’s chief executive, downloading a grainy clip with Chinese-language overdubs on YouTube that looked like it was filmed with a camcorder in a movie theater. In a matter of moments, Audible Magic’s filtering software identified it as the sword-training scene that begins 49 minutes and 37 seconds into the Miramax film Kill Bill: Vol. 2. Audible Magic’s software can comb through a database for matches using a digital fingerprinting. Copyrighted material can then be blocked or posted, depending on whether it is licensed for use on the site.
So far audio fingerprinting technologies have been used successfully for some time to detect copyrighted music on file-sharing networks and, to a smaller degree, to identify music tracks on social networks. Speaking of which, MySpace said last week it would use Audible Magic