SAN FRANCISCO: MySpace and Auditude on Sunday rolled out an innovative solution to the problem of people posting pirated television show snippets on
Auditude technology automatically identifies user-posted segments of shows, then weaves in advertising for copyright owners and tells viewers whose program they are watching.
Instead of copyright holders chasing down television show video posted on MySpace pages and then demanding clips be removed in accordance with US law, they can let Internet users be delivery channels complete with advertising.
"This is a no-brainer," MySpace marketing president Jeff Berman told media. "Everyone wins. Auditude lets the user do whatever he or she wants to do with copyrighted video and sticks an ad on it."
US-based Auditude has spent four years "fingerprinting" television broadcasts to enable its software to instantly identify online snippets of shows that have aired, Auditude chief executive Adam Cahan told media.
Auditude is "sitting on an index" of more than a billion minutes of films and shows from television and adds millions of minutes of new material daily to its fingerprinting data base, according to Cahan.
Auditude discovered that, on average, catchy clips shown once on television are reincarnated 20 times on the Internet.
"Folks want to be able to share the video they really like," Cahan said. "We are embracing what users do today; bringing them back in and using them as a distribution channel, if you may."
Hollywood studio Warner Brothers has already signed on with Auditude. MySpace is Auditude's first Internet partner but more are expected to follow suit given the potential for quelling copyright complaints from studios while opening new revenue streams.
Auditude and website publishers share in advertising money made by the owners of video shared online. Auditude software overlays video with information about the program it came from and provides links to online places to
buy episodes or related merchandise.
"It takes user-posted content that was miscategorized as user-generated and turns it back into professional content," Cahan said. "It allows content owners to be freer about what they put out there."
Because Auditude grabs video feed directly from live television the technology immediately follows snippets onto the Internet.
"We know from the minute it is on television to the minute it us uploaded," Cahan said. "We are constantly finding it."
Auditude found while testing its technology that it could predict the winner of "American Idol," a television talent show which determines victors based on viewer voting.
Auditude noticed that every time a particular contestant performed, there was a surge in people snatching video clips and posting them online.
And while Cahan dodged talk of US presidential politics, he conceded that Democratic candidate Barack Obama is trouncing Republican rival John McCain when it comes to people spreading video clips of him on the Internet.
Fingerprinting software tested or implemented at video-sharing websites to date requires copyright owners to provide films or shows so key identification points can be pinpointed and logged by computers.
Automated techniques for identifying pirated material have been used in filters to get rid of offending user-posted video clips before copyright holders file "take-down notices," or worse, sue.
"Auditude is taking us from a world of "No" to a world of "Yes" that was previously unattainable and that is a beautiful thing," Berman said. "If it doesn't solve the take-down problem it comes pretty darn close."
6 months ago