MySpace experiments with video censoring software

Under pressure from Universal/Vivendi, MySpace experiments with video signature software.

Bowing to pressure from media conglomerates and copyright holders to stop the posting of copyrighted material, MySpace has announced it will experiment with a new video-filtering system reports the Washington Post.

MySpace is joining forces with software company Audible Magic Corp., which owns the rights to a system that scans video clips and looks for signature vectors - such as a unique digital fingerprint - to compare with vectors stored in a database. Once a signature is found, the video can be blocked.

The policy on most social networking sites that post videos is to only remove videos if there is a complaint from the copyright holder. Often users quickly repost the same clip to the sites under a different, free account.

Using the new signature-identifying software, Vivendi and its artists would still be able to circulate authorized promotional audio and video, however, MySpace said it would block unauthorized music videos and other clips containing Universal Music Group's music.

"MySpace is dedicated to ensuring that content owners, whether large or small, can both promote and protect their content in our community," Chris DeWolfe, MySpace's co-founder and chief executive, said in a statement. "For MySpace, video filtering is about protecting artists and the work they create."

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