After many many months of saying the company was "working on it," Google has finally released the details of its tool to help angry copyright holders
deal with their content being shared on YouTube. The tool doesn't sound all that surprising. Basically, the company tried to build its own version of Audible Magic's famed "magic bullet" approach to stopping unauthorized sharing. Of course, Audible Magic's solution has run into problems when people realized it doesn't work
very well, and you have to wonder how well Google's homebrewed solution will work as well. It's not an easy problem to solve, and going back to the original Napster (which tried to add its own similar filter
), people quickly find ways around the filters. There are two noteworthy things in the Google announcement. First, it requires copyright holders to upload their own copies so that Google can match them to the content on the site, and it offers the copyright holder a variety of options beyond just "block any copies." That's where it gets a little interesting. Copyright holders can also choose to leave the content up, but place ads
on it, with a split of the ad revenue going back to the copyright holder. In other words, Google is at least encouraging copyright holders to consider that simply taking down the infringing content may not make as much sense as trying to make money off of it. Somehow, we doubt that too many copyright holders will sign up for this "leave it up, but with ads" program, but perhaps we'll be surprised.