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  MySpace, YouTube Jump On Copyright Protection Bandwagon

By: Spacelab Research Staff
It's vaguely reminiscent of the days that began the downfall of the P2P phenomenon. Last week's announcement by YouTube that they will use the services of Audible Magic to prevent unauthorized media from being used on their site is another sign that the wild west days of seeing anything and everything on YouTube are slowly winding down.

Audible Magic provides a fingerprint technology that allows copyrighted music and videos to be identified at the point of being put on the YouTube or MySpace site, eliminating the need (for the most part) for these guys to patrol their site for unauthorized content.

Which presents a strange dilemma. How does YouTube continue to be YouTube when the whole reason most of their audience comes to their site is to see the stuff that becomes contraband?

"We are definitely committed to (offering copyright protection technologies). It is one of the company's highest priorities," said Google CEO Eric Schmidt in an interview last week with Reuters.

I guess this is what happens when sites like MySpace and YouTube move beyond the underground and into the mainstream, they need to legitimize, or they'll either go broke fighting it in court or even worse, having to pay fines.

So where can they go? Becoming legit. They put in place copyright filters, start talking about sharing revenue (because paying for use of a copyright is the heart of a copyright), and take the next step forward.

This is only the latest stage in the back and forth tennis match of protection technology and people that will try to hack it. Ask any virus protection company about how much time and money they spend on staying up to date with the latest threats and you'll realize that it's a never-ending task.

They've started rocky discussions with recording labels and big media companies over revenue-sharing agreements, which may be the only way for YouTube to go forward with the use of copyrighted material on their site.

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