YouTube 'close' to content filtering deal

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YouTube 'close' to content filtering deal

System will automatically block copyrighted material.

Video sharing site YouTube has reportedly reached a deal to automatically filter out copyrighted material. 

Digital 'fingerprinting' technology from content protection firm Audible Magic will be used to pre-screen user-submitted videos for copyrighted work, according to the San José Mercury News, which cited "anonymous" sources. 

Spokespersons for YouTube and Audible Magic declined to comment to 

YouTube first announced that it would be working on a content filtering system in September.

When the systems were not in place by January, and pirated videos remained plentiful on the site, media companies began to demand that YouTube and parent company Google manually remove hundreds of thousands of copyrighted clips.

Google chief executive Eric Schmidt was quoted last week as saying that content filtering was among the company's highest priorities and that a system was "going to roll out very soon".

Forrester Research analyst Josh Bernoff questioned why the reported deal had taken so long, but praised YouTube's decision to use Audible Magic rather than develop a proprietary system.

"It is one of two solutions that are ready now. They are not perfect, but there is nothing better out there," he wrote on a company blog.

"If Google and YouTube want to keep working with media companies, this is what it will take to solve the copyright puzzle."
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