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MySpace to Block Illegal Use of Copyrighted Videos

12 Feb, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Seeking to avoid a potential legal mine field when users willfully or otherwise post copyrighted content on its networking site, MySpace Feb. 12 announced a pilot program designed to block uploaded videos containing unauthorized material.

MySpace is held by News Corp., which also owns 20th Century Fox Entertainment.

The software, created by Audible Magic, a Los Gatos, Calif.-based digital rights management company, uses digital fingerprinting technology to screen uploaded videos from users against a MySpace data base.

“MySpace is dedicated to ensuring that content owners, whether large or small, can both promote and protect their content in our community,” said Chris DeWolfe, CEO and co-founder of MySpace, in a statement. “Video filtering is about protecting artists and the work they create.”

The move is the latest by MySpace to proactively discourage the movement of unauthorized material across its lucrative digital landscape.

Last week, News Corp. reported that MySpace posted a $75 million profit in the second quarter ended Dec. 31.

Last October, the site signed a deal with Gracenote, a Los Angeles-based digital entertainment technology provider, that enabled it to identify copyrighted music audio recordings.

Songs uploaded by MySpace users are filtered through a proprietary database for designated rights holders, allowing MySpace to block unauthorized material.

The move didn't stop Universal Music Group from filing a copyright infringement lawsuit against MySpace, alleging it actively facilitated the unlawful repurposing of UMG music and related videos.

Today's announcement has no effect on the UMG suit, which is ongoing and seeks upwards of $150,000 in damages for each unauthorized song.

“We are not in settlement discussions,” said a MySpace spokesperson.

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