October 17, 2007

YouTube Video Fingerprinting Goes Live -- And the Battle Begins ("YouTube Video Identification")

Greetings. About a month ago, I briefly discussed the issues surrounding the "fingerprinting" of media content by sites in an attempt to find and remove copyrighted works posted without the rights holders' permissions.

As I implied then, this is a complex issue, which if handled incorrectly could trigger major backlashes.

We're about to see an example of how this plays out in the real world, as word comes that YouTube (Google) has activated their content fingerprinting control system (called "YouTube Video Identification").

Google appears to be well within its rights in deploying this technology. After all, it's Google's responsibility and mandate to determine which materials submitted by users will be hosted on Google-owned systems , and the associated notification/dispute regime appears to be well thought out, at least in theory.

However, it will be fascinating to see what the content matching parameters really are, and how easily they can be thwarted. We can be sure that folks are already uploading various carefully designed videos to probe these very facets.

I've argued that in the long run, DRM is doomed. But for now, there will be plenty of casualities and collateral damage on all sides of this issue.

In the current case, there is likely to be an ongoing battle of wits and skill (regarding content fingerprinting) between YouTube and certain of its users for quite some time to come. This will be but one aspect of the much broader and unfortunately inevitable DRM wars.

Interesting times, indeed.


Posted by Lauren at October 17, 2007 12:01 PM | Permalink
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