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Santa Clara-based Vobile, a maker of anti-piracy technology, has received a sub-$10 million investment round from AT&T and Disney’s (NYSE: DIS) Steamboat Ventures, according to the WSJ. The funding was also noted in a BusinessWeek article last week on AT&T’s anti-piracy initiatives, which mentioned NBC as an investor. Additionally, the company says it has received unspecified investments from a number of individuals, including Jarl Mohn, former CEO of Liberty Digital, Facebook CFO Gideon Yu (who joined Vobile’s board last week), Vernon Altman of Bain & Co., Brian Mulligan, former chairman of Fox Television, Nicholas Moore formerly of PWC, and media investor David Wargo. Release.
Vobile is the maker of VideoDNA, a technology for identifying individual videos. According to the WSJ report, AT&T is currently testing the technology, but has not decided whether it will deploy it across the network. Should the operator choose to police its network using the technology, it will certainly raise the hackles of privacy and net neutrality activists, who already have no fondness towards AT&T (NYSE: T). There are also major questions about the efficacy of such technology, such as that developed by rival Audible Magic, whose customers have included Dailymotion, Microsoft’s (NSDQ: MSFT) Soapbox and Google.