Viacom filed suit against YouTube last year, alleging that YouTube wasn't taking sufficient measures to ensure that copyrighted material wasn't being freely distributed by the YouTube community. YouTube seems to have taken complaints from Viacom and others seriously, and has developed an anti-piracy technology that requires copyright holders to submit source material to be compared to existing media found on YouTube.
Viacom doesn't exactly seem thrilled with this new measure:
Appearing at the Web 2.0 Summit Thursday, Viacom CEO Phillipe Dauman said Video Identification falls short of what is needed and that he doesn't intend to drop the suit. "I don't think we're quite there," he said. "Google is a very high-quality company with a lot of very smart people. They can do things when they want to. They haven't wanted to until this point. They have a lot of tools, but they're not perfect."
Regardless of the legalities involved, it's difficult not to be impressed with YouTube's anti-piracy tool from a technology standpoint. In essence what YouTube is doing is comparing clips on their servers to the source material submitted by the copyright holder. Anyone care to guess just what kind of computing resources it takes to get the job done in a timely manner?