Google adds copyright protection to YouTube

Following pressure from media owners (aka The Man), Google has added digital watermarking technology to YouTube, enabling copyright owners more control over uploads of their material. YouTube Video Identification works by allowing content owners to send their material to Google for watermarking; if a clip of a watermarked programme is then uploaded to YouTube, the owner can choose whether or not to block it.

Watermarked content won’t always be blocked. Owners can also choose to allow a single upload and track how many times it is watched, or let anyone upload a clip and then generate revenue from advertising around it.

Both options seem to give content owners a way of making money on their investment in new programming while bringing it to a wider audience. So is this a win-win situation, or will media giants like Viacom shut down all their new content? We shall see…

(Image: from Bibi’s Flickr stream)

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