Public Knowledge Calls Google Video Filtering ‘A Sad Development’
Public Knowledge Calls Google Video Filtering ‘A Sad Development’
Public Knowledge Calls Google Video Filtering ‘A Sad Development’

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    For Immediate Release

    Background: Today Google announced a new video filtering software system for YouTube. More information is available at:

    Public Knowledge President Gigi B. Sohn said that it is unfortunate Google was pressured into spending millions of dollars and countless hours to come up with a means for restricting the use of lawful videos online.

    “On balance, this is a sad development. It's a shame that Google was pressured by the entertainment industry into devoting resources to a limited system that could restrict the free flow of information while increasing the control content companies have over otherwise lawful uses of material.”

    The YouTube Video Identification Database will be able to match images posted on YouTube with material submitted by copyright holders to a Google database. “While Google should be commended for its effort, we don't think that any automated process will be able to determine whether a consumer's fair use rights are being violated,” Sohn said. She added: “Google should make certain the system balances public rights with the rights of content companies.”

    “We are not pleased that the system automatically includes a default option for blocking a video post in the first instance,” Sohn said. She said: “Consumers then have to show that they are entitled to put up the video. Content companies should be required to do something more to take down a video than to check off a box on a form.”

    “People may not want to post videos if they know their worked will be blocked, and may simply give up once the automated challenge is set in motion. The Google system will also put pressure on other companies that may not have the resources Google has to come up with a similar system, which will further hurt consumers.”

    Gigi has more in her blog post:

    Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at or 405-249-9435.