Fox, CBS, NBC Universal, Walt Disney, MySpace, Viacom, and Microsoft are on the verge of announcing a copyright protection agreement, but Google isn't part of the deal, according to reports.

K.C. Jones, Contributor

October 18, 2007

2 Min Read

All eyes are on Google, as several major media, technology, and Internet companies prepare to announce a pact for copyright protection.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that several major Internet companies and media outlets, including Fox, CBS, NBC Universal, Walt Disney, MySpace, Viacom, and Microsoft are on the verge of announcing a copyright protection agreement. Google was not part of the agreement but may have been involved in some discussions, according to the news report.

James McQuivey, Forrester Research analyst, said that a digital copyright protection deal could explain why Google recently announced plans to stop people from posting copyrighted material.

"Once an industry initiative is formed, Google will be forced to accept the common model rather than use its own solution as a competitive differentiator," McQuivey said in a statement. "The pressure on Google to go along with this cooperative initiative will be intense, as the fate of existing lawsuits will likely hinge on Google's acceptance of the common solution."

Earlier this week, Google's YouTube launched a content identification system to increase copyright owners' control over how and when their content is posted on the site. YouTube Video Identification works when copyright owners upload content they want to protect so a "hash," or digital mark, can be created. The marks are supposed to prevent copyrighted material from being uploaded by others. YouTube will allow content owners to earn money from uploaded versions through ads.

YouTube Product Manager David King said in a blog that the system goes beyond the site's legal responsibilities. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act allows Internet service providers to avoid liability for copyright infringement by users if they respond quickly to notifications of copyright infringement.

News of the pending agreement between Viacom and the other companies came while Viacom seeks $1 billion in damages from Google and YouTube for copyright infringement. The agreement will be announced Thursday, according to the news report, which cited unnamed sources who are familiar with the plan to use technology to stop Internet users from uploading copyrighted content.

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