This week Youtube launched its automated video ID system in an effort to filter copyrighted content. And it’s a dud. The system relies on content owners submitting full copies of their content as a reference, which opponents argue is unnecessary and unfairly places the burden on them. Moreover, the system is hit and miss. It depends on an accurate duplication and cannot take into account things such as re-encoding. This automated system can also impede legitimate fair use, which Lame News witnessed first hand with the deletion of several parody clips.
Viacom, which is suing Youtube for $1 billion over copyright infringement, praises Youtube for “stepping up to its responsibilty,” but says that it will have no effect on its lawsuit. And in response, Google has passed on a media alliance, which includes Viacom and is designed to set industry standards in content distribution.
These are uncertain times for Youtube. And while the loss of some its highest traffic content and an almost assured penalty or settlement may not kill Youtube, I fear it will never be the same.