YouTube Promises Video Fingerprinting by Fall

Testifying Friday in the copyright infringement lawsuit proceedings between YouTube and Viacom, a Google lawyer said the video-sharing site would be deploying video recognition software “hopefully in September.”

The system, which has been promised for the better part of the last year, would match uploads with digital fingerprints of videos provided by copyright holders. The offending content would be removed “within a minute or so,” according to an Associated Press article detailing Philip S. Beck’s statements.

A Google/YouTube spokesperson contacted by PC World called the project “one of the most technologically complicated tasks that we have ever undertaken.”

PC World’s Juan Carlos Perez speculates this sounds more like filtering than the “Claim Your Content” detailed by Google CEO Eric Schmidt earlier this year. However, this speculation seems over-reaching, since Beck mentioned 1) copyright holders providing fingerprints and 2) a delay, albeit short, before such content was removed from the system.

It’s certain, though, that Viacom and other YouTube enemies, who are contesting the prevailing interpretation of the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, will try their best to show that any aspect of what YouTube is doing falls outside of the law.

Viacom lawyer Donald B. Verrilli Jr. said, “Perhaps the filtering mechanism will help. If so, we’ll be very grateful for that,” according to the AP.

We had written earlier about how video fingerprinting technology from leading vendor Audible Magic failed to recognize and take down our uploads of Viacom’s The Daily Show with John Stewart across multiple sites.

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