Philips debuts Web anti-piracy system

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Philips Electronics is launching a service Thursday to help Web sites and online file-sharing networks filter out unauthorized copyright video files.

The service, dubbed MediaHedge, is the latest anti-piracy tool designed to help sift through the growing volume of online video files and give copyright holders more say over their content.

Online video sites that allow computer users to load videos, often clips culled from TV shows and music videos, are under pressure from the entertainment industry to filter out video content that users post without the copyright owners' permission.

Google Inc.'s wildly popular video-sharing site, YouTube, has said it is developing technology that will streamline the process by which copyright owners identify their content on the site and then determine whether they want to have it removed.

Philips did not name any customers who will be using the MediaHedge system, which works by checking the digital "fingerprint" or unique characteristics of video files and looking for a match in Philips' database of video content.

The service can spot a match even if the video file is degraded, altered or amounts to a small slice of the original video, according to Philips Content Identification, a unit of the Netherlands' Philips Electronics NV.

Copyright holders can specify in advance whether they want to allow videos containing their footage to be posted on sites running MediaHedge, or whether they should be blocked or otherwise restricted.


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