News: We’ve just heard from Steve Chen that YouTube may open a YouTube version for Taiwan. Now, there’s rumor that YouTube will be launching both a French and a German YouTube site this month. (More)
News: A tubing company in Ohio called Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment Co. — which owns the domain name utube.com — sued YouTube on a host of claims including “reverse confusion” trademark infringement. Last week, the district court ruled on YouTube’s motion to dismiss the case — which is a pretty standard motion for any defendant to file. The court ruled in favor of YouTube on several claims, such as trespass to chattel, but allowed the case to proceed forward mostly on the trademark and unfair competition claims.
Eric Goldman has an excellent, detailed analysis on his blog.
News: YouTube already has audio filtering in place from Audible Magic, to help identify unauthorized music files on clips. Yesterday, YouTube announced that it is developing its own filtering for video content. Next month, YT will be testing the beta version of the filtering program with Disney and Time Warner, who agreed to be a part of the testing. More here and here.
Analysis: The video fingerprinting technology would be a huge development if successful. A lot of people mistakenly believe that such technology already exists. It doesn’t, at least not in effective fashion. Audio files are much easier to track (esp. through Audible Magic). The visual video files are more difficult. If YouTube and Google are successful in developing this new technology, concerns about copyright liability against YouTube start to diminish. The allegations that somehow YT’s business plan is based on promoting copyright infringement on its site become even more hollow.