Autonomy has launched a new tool that helps publishers and broadcasters to track down materials that infringe on their copyrights.
The new Virage Automatic Copyright Infringement Detection (ACID) software scans and analyses both images and audio for copyright infringements. Autonomy markets the software at copyright owners and organizations hosting user generated content such as Youtube and Myspace.
Autonomy touted that its software doesn't rely on watermarking, a technology that embeds a digital signature in a file to detect illegal copies and can be easily fooled by re-encoding. It also works across media formats and is able to detect audio tracks that are ripped from a video file and then overlaid on legitimately uploaded video.
The technology could solve widespread cases of copyright infringement on services such as Youtube and Myspace where users can upload videos. Youtube's parent company Google is currently facing legal charges from Viacom. The owner of TV networks such as MTV and Comedy Central alleged that Youtube has provided its users with illegal access to its copyrighted materials in at least 1.5bn cases.
Myspace is facing a similar complaint from Universal Music Group. The record label filed legal charges against the site last November. In October Myspace started using audio fingerprinting technology from Gracenote to weed out copyrighted music files on the site.
Current copyright legislation requires publishers to notify hosting providers and platform publishers to have them remove copyrighted materials, but the individual who uploaded the file is held responsible for any infringement. The Viacom and Universal Music cases seek to switch the burden to the provider, arguing that their lack of action is allowing infringement to take place in a widespread and structured manner.
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