Sony launches video-sharing network

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Sony Corp. launched its own video-sharing site Friday in Japan, marking an effort by the entertainment conglomerate to capitalize on the phenomenon started by YouTube.

Dubbed eyeVio, a catchphrase meaning "one's viewpoint," the site will serve as a community tool featuring user-generated content where visitors can share their content with the public or with specific people through designated channels.

While the service employs a system that closely monitors its content for copyright violation, it was created to drive the demand for Sony-specific devices with users being able to upload content from Sony video camcorders and download content to Sony PSPs and other Sony products.

"This is part of Sony's quiet software revolution," Sony Corp. CEO Howard Stringer said at a news conference. "It's an opportunity to transmit user-generated video anywhere you want to, any time to anybody, in a protected environment."

While eyeVio has no specific content partnerships, it is open to such future collaborations and hopes to generate revenue through future advertisers.

Currently free to users, Sony is looking at the possibility of expanding the service to the U.S. market but hopes to avoid the problems of copyright violation that Google's YouTube has encountered.

Earlier this year, Google agreed to display warnings on YouTube in Japanese telling users not to upload copyrighted materials, while last year the viral video site removed nearly 30,000 video files at the request of Japanese media firms.

"Such a model would appeal to companies looking to release content and to protect their image," said Takeshi Honma, chief producer in the corporate development department at Sony Corp. in Japan. "We believe there's a need for a clean and safe place where companies can place their advertisements."
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