MySpace 'Down' with copyright tool

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NEW YORK -- News Corp.'s MySpace has announced the launch of a new copyright-protection feature that employs technology designed to stop users from reposting video content already taken down at the request of the copyright holder.

The initiative, dubbed "Take Down Stay Down," is the first of its kind among Internet companies, MySpace said Friday. It will be integrated into the portal's "Content Take Down Tool," which allows copyright owners to identify and remove unauthorized content.

"This is a groundbreaking and unprecedented benefit for copyright owners," said Michael Angus, executive vp and general consul for Fox Interactive Media. "It re-enforces MySpace's position as the leader in copyright protection on the Internet."

The new feature will employ a service developed by Audible Magic, a technology company that specializes in digital-rights protection. It will create a "digital fingerprint" of a video that has been removed, thereby blocking the clip if the user tries to post it again. MySpace used Audible Magic technology to create its initial video-filtering service, announced in February and designed to keep copyright-infringing clips off the site.

These measures, designed to appease the media companies, take content protection beyond what is legally required by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which states that content owners are responsible for identifying illegal content.

In November, MySpace announced an initiative using Gracenote technology to protect copyright audio on the site. That was unveiled the same day Universal Music Group filed a lawsuit, still pending, against the site in U.S. District Court in California, alleging copyright infringement.

This announcement comes as entertainment companies continue to target content-sharing sites. In March, Viacom sued Google Inc.'s YouTube for $1 billion, alleging copyright infringement, and last week NBC Universal submitted a friend of the court order siding with the media conglomerate.
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