Lawyers, defending Google/YouTube in Viacom’s $1billion copyright infringement lawsuit against the company, have told the presiding judge that Google hopes to have ‘copyright filters’ installed on YouTube this fall (September to December).
Viacom’s lawsuit will pave the way for further copyright cases, if Google are unable to prevent the uploading of copyrighted material onto YouTube. Google’s response – recognition programming – copyright owners could place a ‘digital fingerprint’ onto their material, preventing illegal uploading of any of their videos. A YouTube spokesperson made the following statement to IDG News.
“We hope to have the testing completed and technology available by some time in the fall, but this is one of the most technologically complicated tasks that we have ever undertaken, and as always with cutting-edge technologies, it’s difficult to forecast specific launch dates.”
In the mean time, Google CEO Eric Schmidt has said that Google are acting within the law, removing copyright material immediately on request from Viacom and other copyright owners, and will continue to defend itself.
For avid YouTube watchers copyright filters may be the end of concert footage, your favorite music videos, mashups, comedy shows and more. While I believe that copyright infringements should be taken seriously, I find it interesting that Viacom’s lawsuit (for such an excessive amount) comes so soon after Google’s acquisition of YouTube. These issues were present prior to the Google YouTube merger – but who was there to sue?