Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Google seeks to turn a profit from YouTube copyright clashes; Guardian, 11/1/09

Katie Allen, Guardian; Google seeks to turn a profit from YouTube copyright clashes:

Group is working to persuade music and video companies to cash in rather than clamp down when their content is uploaded

"Google is seeking to drag YouTube into profit by convincing music and film footage rights owners to make advertising revenue from their content rather than remove it from the video-sharing site for breach of copyright.

The company has been touting a fingerprinting system for rights holders that means YouTube can identify their material even when it has been altered and made part of user-generated content such as wedding videos or satirical clips.

First developed two years ago, the ContentID system is attracting record labels, TV producers and sports rights owners keen to make more money from the web. Google's computers compare all the material uploaded to YouTube – around 20 hours every minute – against "ID files" from a 100,000-hour library of reference material from the rights holders. The system creates reports of what is viewed where and how often.

Rights holders then have the choice to either block their content or make money from it. That means putting advertising alongside the video and sharing the revenues with YouTube, which takes a small cut. They can also make money by linking to sites selling DVDs, downloads and CDs of the original content.

Google declines to give a number but says the majority of rights holders choose to monetise their content. It points to Mr Bean as a recent beneficiary of the system."

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