back to article YouTube video-fingerprinting due in September

YouTube will unveil FBI-quality video-fingerprinting technology in September. Well, that's what Google hopes. Or, rather, Google wants a judge to think that's what it hopes. On Friday, with Google facing a three-pronged copyright trial at a federal court in New York City, a company lawyer told the presiding judge that its …


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  1. Alan Potter

    Money Talks

    So, just so I get this right:

    (a) Google is faced with a rather expensive copyright lawsuit from three rather large companies and it announces that it is going to spend rather a large amount of money to try and appease them by developing special visual recognition software in order to reduce piracy on YouTube by removing images that break copyright laws.

    (b) Google refuses in any way to remove violent images and recordings of children being bullied that are being posted on YouTube, even to the point of unconsciousness, because it claims that it is not up to them to be a moral censor and, besides, it would prove almost impossible to detect and remove these images.

    Is this the same company?

    If so - I have a solution to this that might solve everybody's problems. How about if all beatings up are actually promoted by an agent of some sort so that they can then become copyrighted material. Obviously the victim too would be party to the copyright agreement and all would be entitled to payment for every time the image or recordings were screened. And because they were copyrighted, Google would then use its new software to protect the rights of those people too.

    See? There's always a positive solution when you look hard enough...

  2. Ed

    It might work for a while...

    I bet small visual changes in videos, e.g. a small watermark, or a change in the brightness/contrast/tint could fool a system like this...

  3. Max


    Alan, the problem with your idea would presumably be that the system will need a "fingerprint" to start off with.

    No matter what clever, fuzzy algorithms are used to compare uploaded videos against the copyrighted materials: the source material must presumably be available for fingerprinting in the first place.

    Even Google won't come up with a way of somehow detecting footage that shows "kids being beaten up". It's an extremely difficult problem for a computer...

  4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Why don't they just buy Viacom?

    Google's so cash-rich with "investors" desperate to give them more that this is surely the easiest option. The English premier league is not a US company (yet) so it has little chance of making itself heard.

    As for the long term solution: obviously make the uploaders legally responsible by a change in the T&C. The FBI will only be too wiling to help with the fingerprinting!

  5. mike


    I cant see this working unless google has every film on its data base ever made and even some not yet released dont think the film comps would agree to that.

    As too the league I still say if the film was taken from the stands then it is not INFRINGEMENT OF COPYRIGHT, Only if it is taken of the TV .The person who takes the film owns the copyright and the football league can stick it.

  6. Kevin Pollock


    Hi Mike,

    I can't either, but to your point about camcorder video vs "professional" video. Anyone out there who goes to footie matches (I don't personally) might want to read the terms and conditions on the ticket. It's quite possible they've thought of this one and have included some kind of limitation on the use of home video.



  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    lucky sellers of youtube

    I can only guess that the people that sold YouTube to the mu.....I mean buyer,Google, are smiling to themselves and thinking "thank god we got rid of it when we did" . As they say "there is money in muck" but I dont think that there is $1.6 Billion worth of muck on the YouTube website. Yes siree I would not want to be a buyer of youtube.

  8. Matt


    Colours of napsters slow laughable demise here.

    Bets on if this goes through a few months to a year of tit for tatt battles between folks wanting to get past the security and those updating the security, followed by Youtube dying a death and everyone moving onto new services?

    Just like none of us were loyal to Napster, nobodies gonna be loyal to youtube.

  9. Alan Potter


    @Max - I think fingerprints are the problem for our boys in blue in these cases.

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