updated 11:55 am EST, Wed December 5, 2007
Nielsen DMM for Web Video
The well-known ratings firm Nielsen has produced a tool it vows will stamp out piracy of web-based video services, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. Called Digital Media Manager, the feature will let content providers identify the nature of embedded Flash videos and prevent casual attempts at converting the clips into potentially illegal downloadable versions or preventing bootleg uploads. While the technology will primarily be marketed to companies that create the content they host, such as the NBC/News Corp joint venture Hulu or the Discovery Channel, it will also be applicable to sites that often host user-made video, such as MySpace or YouTube. This will allow certain copyright holders to post videos on these pages knowing that any ads or other revenue deals are intact, says the Journal.
Digital Media Manager may prove essential to YouTube in particular. Tthe Google-owned website has already announced its own video fingerprinting feature that would block unauthorized uploads of some copyrighted videos but has generally left the downstream portion of videos alone, theoretically permitting illegal ripping of videos that can then be traded around the web. Viacom sued YouTube for $1 billion in spring this year alleging that the company was deliberately avoiding copyright protection measures and feeding off of piracy.
The project is being developed in unison with digital watermarking firm Digimarc and could be in active use by the spring; a formal announcement is possible as early as Wednesday barring a last-minute change of plans.