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Companies Set UGC Rules

18 Oct, 2007 By: Chris Tribbey

Several major media and Internet companies joined forces Oct. 18 to announce a set of rules for handling copyright-protected video online.

Missing from the group was Google Inc., which earlier in the week announced new filtering technology for copyrighted material on its YouTube Web site. The filter would require content providers to give Google videos it wanted protected. Viacom is currently in the midst of a $1 billion lawsuit against Google for allowing copyrighted video on YouTube.

The Walt Disney Co., CBS Corp., NBC Universal, Fox Entertainment Group, MySpace, Microsoft, Viacom Inc., Veoh Networks Inc., and Dailymotion are in the coalition, which released a list of 15 “User Generated Content Principles.” It can be viewed at www.ugcprinciples.com.

The principles are said to be “a comprehensive set of guidelines to help user-generated content (UGC) services and content creators work together towards their collective goal of bringing more content to more consumers through legitimate channels,” according to a press release. “The principles acknowledge a collective respect for protecting copyrights and recognize that filtering technologies must be effective and are only a part of what is necessary to achieve this goal.”

The list includes guidelines for Web sites that feature video, including warnings against uploading copyrighted content in the terms of use, the implementation of content identification technology, and retain information on users uploading video. It also calls for the members of the group to actively go after sites that allow copyrighted material on the Web without permission.

“These principals offer a roadmap for unlocking the enormous potential of online video and user-generated content,” said Disney President and CEO Bob Iger. “Cooperation among us, aided by emerging technologies, can clear the way for future growth in the availability of online video in ways that will be good for consumers, good for copyright owners and good for uploading servers.”

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