MTV and MySpace Turn Piracy Into Pennies

by Casey Lynn
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

You know what they say… when you’ve got lemons, turn them into lemonade. And when you’ve got rampant video piracy, find a way to milk some ad revenue out of it.

The “fingerprint” technology that we’ve been hearing about from YouTube is making its way in some form to MySpace as well, where the tech firm Auditude is providing a way to cross-index countless seconds of TV footage and automatically detect copyright-infringing uploads. However, instead of automatically triggering removal, this Content Identification System gives copyright owners a choice: take it down, or insert ads.

That’s right–you may just go to your MySpace page one day and find that the clip of The Daily Show that you’d uploaded to your page is mercifully still there, but now contains ads that will generate revenue for MTV Networks (the parent company of Comedy Central).   These ads are “overlay,” appearing at the bottom of the videos, much like the ones that are already in YouTube’s “sponsored” clips. For now this system only applies to a handful of television shows, including The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Punk’d, and Reno 911.

Of course, this is all happening while the legal battle between Google and Viacom (MTV Networks’ parent company) continues over YouTube’s alleged mass copyright infringement. However, according to the president of digital media at MTV Networks, MySpace and YouTube are fundamentally different:

“This deal with MySpace is quite different. MySpace has always respected copyright and is more progressive about copyright in our mind. The way we’re pushing this out with Auditude and MySpace is different than with YouTube or our past associations there.”

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