Amazing what a billion dollar lawsuit can get you to do...
As promised in court this summer, Google has unveiled a new plan designed to weed out copyrighted clips from video-sharing site YouTube.
The Video ID system requires copyright owners to submit their material to Google and tell the company what they want done with the clips. Owners can choose to have Google monetize the material and share revenue, promote the clips or block them altogether.
"As copyright holders make their preferences clear to us up front, we'll do our best to automate that choice while balancing the rights of users, other copyright holders, and our community as a whole," YouTube stated in a blog post about the new plan.
Google attorney Philp Beck outlined plans for this system in court in July, during a scheduling conference in the $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit brought by Viacom. And, while Viacom might still proceed with its case, harnessing YouTube to promote Viacom material and/or share ad revenue seems like a far shrewder strategy.
Of course, Google's new system still requires a great deal of labor on the part of copyright holders. Simply uploading all of the TV shows, movies and music videos that they wish to block or claim for themselves is itself a mammoth task. On top of that, the content owners will have to continue to monitor the site for bootleg copies that users have posted -- such as the live concert footage that triggered a threatened lawsuit by Prince.