YouTube is testing out video fingerprinting technology that it hopes will help prevent people posting content without the owner’s consent.

Google’s video-sharing site is collaborating with Time Warner and Disney on the new identification tools. Engineers at Google hope the technology will enable content owners to identify attributes in video clips uploaded to the site that have copyright protection. The content owners can then either block them from being posted or opt to receive a share of the advertising revenue.

Copyright infringement has caused Google a lot of trouble in the past, with major content companies filing lawsuits. In March Viacom sued Google and YouTube for over US$1 billion for breach of copyright. The Premier League is also suing YouTube over alleged infringement of copyright, claims which YouTube has denied.

Audio fingerprinting technology was tested by Google with record labels earlier this year using technology from content protection company Audible Magic to identify the audio tracks of video clips.

The video fingerprinting software will be tested in around a month. Google hopes that the identification tools will be available to copyright owners later this year if the tests are successful.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada