US Web and Media Firms Draw up Copyright Rules

23 October 2007

NEW YORK: The future growth of online video in the USA has been brought into sharp focus with a set of "collaborative principles" agreed between broadcasters and online businesses which aim to tackle the thorny issue of copyright infringement.

Among those uniting to protect online material are CBS, NBC Universal, Fox Entertainment, MySpace, Walt Disney and Microsoft.

All have agreed to introduce technology that will prevent the uploading of copyrighted video content on user-generated websites; the removal of such content if it does appear; and identification and removal of links to sites that are "clearly dedicated to and predominantly used for the dissemination of infringing content".

Declares NBCU president/ceo Jeff Zucker: "By recognizing the mutual benefits of a technology-based framework to control piracy, technology and content, companies have laid the foundation for the lawful growth of video on the internet."

Among the notables conspicuous by their absence is Google and its YouTube video sharing website, currently in embroiled in a $1 billion (€704m; £491m) copyright infringement lawsuit with Viacom.

The search titan has instead announced a new initiative using its technology designed to filter out copyrighted content on YouTube.

However, industry analysts are predicting that Google will eventually be forced to come into the fold if the new guidelines become established industry procedure.

Data sourced from Adweek (USA); additional content by WARC staff