Leading Internet and media companies announced Thursday a set of guidelines for user-generated content (UGC) services, without infringing copyrights.
Among the measures proposed is the implementation of filtering technology with the goal to eliminate infringing content on UGC services, including blocking infringing uploads before they are made available to the public.
The companies supporting these principles include CBS Corp., Dailymotion, Fox Entertainment Group, Microsoft Corp., MySpace, NBC Universal, Veoh Networks Inc., Viacom Inc. and The Walt Disney Company, according to statements issued by these companies.
The ease of uploading video content on the Internet has led to the creation of millions of original works by new creators – works that range from scripted programs, to virtuoso musical performances and to humorous skits and social parody, the companies said. It also has resulted in the proliferation of uploaded content that infringes copyrighted works, they warned.
For details of the new content identification and filtering program advocated by these media and Internet companies click this link.
Interestingly the companies say that they are willing to accommodate fair use of copyrighted content. For example, when sending notices and making claims of infringement, copyright owners should accommodate fair use, according to the new principles. Fair use has however not been defined in the principles.
Google Inc., which runs the popular YouTube video sharing site is not a participating member of this program. Google and YouTube are facing a number of copyright-infringement legal suits, including a US$1 billion action filed by Viacom Inc. The company however unveiled on Tuesday content filtering technology, called Video Identification. The technology does not yet allow the blocking of copyrighted content from being uploaded, according to reports.
Google may have to go along with the Internet and media companies, as it has always said that it would like to protect copyrights.
Putting controls on copyrighted content, while allowing for a liberal interpretation of fair use would ensure that YouTube and other such sites continue to be tools for innovation and creativity.