Google launches video-blocking tool for YouTube

The tool, in beta, allows content owners to block copyrighted material

Google has launched a video-blocking tool that will allow content owners to intercept copyrighted clips as they're uploaded to YouTube, its video-sharing site.

The tool, called YouTube Video Identification, is in beta testing.

"Video Identification is the next step in a long list of content policies and tools that we have provided copyright owners so that they can more easily identify their content and manage how it is made available on YouTube," said David King, YouTube product manager, in the blog post.

The Video Identification tool will help copyright holders identify their works that have been uploaded to YouTube, the company said. YouTube said it worked with Google to develop technology that can recognize videos based on a number of factors. The tool, which has shown promising results during testing, will eventually be available to copyright holders around the world.

In order for the technology to work, copyright holders will have to provide YouTube with the information necessary to allow the system to recognize their material.

"No matter how accurate the tools get, it is important to remember that no technology can tell legal from infringing material without the cooperation of the content owners themselves," YouTube said.

YouTube could not be reached for comment on what companies were testing the system and what information copyright holders will need to provide.

YouTube said copyright holders can decide whether they want to block, promote or partner with YouTube to earn revenue from their material. After the copyright holders determine what they want done with their material, YouTube said it will do its "best to automate that choice while balancing the rights of users, other copyright holders, and our community as a whole."

In July, after being hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit by Viacom, Google said it would unveil an anti-privacy tool for YouTube in September.

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