MySpace, MTV test piracy-profit plan

A new technology that essentially allows content owners to profit from online piracy will get a high-profile test this month from MySpace and MTV Networks, Reuters reports. Instead of triggering the usual take-down notices, copyright-infringing footage of select MTV Networks programming uploaded by MySpace subscribers would be automatically redistributed with advertisements that would generate revenue for the companies. MySpace is turning to third-party tech firm Auditude to deliver the technology through a combination of patented assets: a sophisticated ad-serving platform with a video-fingerprinting system that cross indexes billions of seconds of TV and online footage in seconds. "This is a game-changer," said Jeff Berman, president of sales and marketing at MySpace. "We’re going from a world of no to a world of yes while protecting the rights of the copyright holder." The Auditude technology is similar to a system already being employed by the only site that has more traffic than MySpace: YouTube. The site’s Content Identification tool gives content owners the choice of removing infringing material or serving an ad. If successful, these systems have profound implications for the online video marketplace. With marketers reluctant to sign on to anything that doesn’t deliver TV-sized audiences, the prospect of reclaiming pirated content would in theory exponentially expand the reach of programming carrying their ads. The MTV Networks initiative comes even as its parent company, Viacom, remains embroiled in a long-running legal battle with Google over claims that YouTube enabled massive copyright infringement of the conglomerate’s content. Mika Salmi, president of global digital media at MTV Networks, drew a distinction between the efforts of MySpace and YouTube. "MySpace has always respected copyright and is more progressive about copyright in our mind," Salmi said. "The way we’re pushing this out with Auditude and MySpace is different than with YouTube or our past associations there."

Click here for the full story