Expect More Finger Pointing on Copyright Protection for Video

In an Financial Times interview last week, Peter Chernin, president and chief operating officer of News Corp stated that Google ‘could do a better job’ at preventing illegally copied video from appearing on its YouTube site.” Chermin also stated that there is no reason Google could not track and filter copyrighted material as well as MySpace, which is owned by News Corp and overseen by Chermin. Was this just finger-pointing and corporate sparring? What about Viacom’s billion dollar lawsuit lodged against Google in March over copyright infringement, and all those other pesky lawsuits?

Let me put on my foil hat for just a moment. I can feel some serious vibes coming in. This finger pointing and posturing about who does copyright protection better is going to continue and get even more intense as the promise of advertising on video becomes a revenue-gushing reality.

Tuesday, Google announced the launch of AdSense for Video program which will let publishers embed YouTube videos on their websites using a customized player and then make money from overlaying text ads that fade in and out as the videos play. Watch those dollars winging through the broadband.

Then, Wednesday, following close behind, comes the announcement by video search engine blinkx of a new service that they are offering which allows people to make money when they embed video clips on their Web sites. The Blinkx program, entitled AdHoc, is particularly interesting in that it allows users to monetize, through revenue sharing, video garnered from a number of video-sharing sites including YouTube, GoogleVideo and DailyMotion. The video ad space is clearly booming with the options for advertisers and publishers ballooning. The ground trembles as another revenue gusher is about to blow and start pumping even more revenues toward some well known search engines.

Now, why the foil hat vibes? Isn’t this ‘my copyright detection beats your copyright detection’ just more of ‘my algo is better than your algo’ that we’ve known for years. Not quite. In an article entitled “The Cost of Copyright” Danny Bradbury discusses copyright detection technology, why the various parties do not seem willing to develop and adopt a single detection methodology which would yield a recognizable digital fingerprint for copyright materials. He points out that it’s about the advertising benjamins that await the advertising network that can provide pinpoint targeting based on viewing patterns. Fingerprinting on video has the promise of delivering lots of potential revenue-producing information on viewing patterns.This information will become ever more valuable as advertisers seek to hone in on their prospects.

Even without a foil hat, it’s easy to see that the finger pointing over who has the better copyright detection capabilities will continue. It is not just my detection routines beat your detection routines, but rather I can target prospects better. In fact the it is now no longer just about the copyright material; it is all about advertising revenues.

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