Google acts against copyright breaches

Google, the online behemoth, has unveiled anticipated technology that aims to prevent illegal use of copyrighted material on its YouTube video-sharing site. The move is in reaction to a $1bn (£500m) lawsuit filed by media companies.

The technology can identify copyrighted content and dictate its use on YouTube, but it cannot prevent users posting potentially illegal content. This means identifying content is still the responsibility of media companies such as Viacom, which filed a suit against Google earlier this year alleging “massive” copyright infringement.

The technology requires copyright owners to upload their movies, TV shows and other video content to a Google database first. The content is then analysed so that any matching, infringing versions that are posted can be automatically identified.

Google said nine media companies have been testing the technology, including Time Warner, Walt Disney and Viacom. The launch met some positive reaction, but the solution was deemed inadequate by a legal spokesman for the Football Association, which is among those content owners trying to sue Google over illegal use of content.

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