To identify illegal video uploads, YouTube has implemented a software technology to "catch" content which infringes on the rights of copyrights holders.  NBC Universal’s general counsel Rick Cotton tells ZDNet’s Tom Steinert-Threlkeld that the software is identifying 75-80 percent of illegal uploads.  For Viacom, which is locked in a legal battle with Google over illegal uploads, it has taken to watching videos through a team of 24 YouTube (human) watchers who view 40-50 clips an hour and have identified some 375,000 illegal uploads as of the end of August, ZDNet reports.  A summary was published this morning, the full 15-page report is available as a free download with registration.

Although NBC Universal is positive about the video filtering software created by Audible Magic, some outside observers say the system doesn’t work very well. According to a study by  Mountain View-based Anvato, just 3 percent of illegal clips were taken down.  Here’s an excerpt from the report:

The Mountain View, Calif., company, which markets
its own video identification technology to content
owners, told ZDNet that it tracked 12 primetime NBC
shows, including “30 Rock,” “Heroes,” “Scrubs” and
“The Office,” from July 29 to Sept. 24. In that period,
clips that included infringing content from those
shows were viewed a total of 38 million times on four
video-sharing sites: YouTube, Google, MetaCafe and

On YouTube, Anvato says it detected 1,235 different
infringing clips, using its own technology. YouTube,
Anvato CEO Turgut says they took down 37 of the
clips, or 3 percent.

Update:  Here is an analysis of the report on NewTeeVee.

Meanwhile over CNET, Greg Sandoval reports that YouTube is in negotiations to present full-length features from Hollywood studios.

Andy Plesser, Executive Producer

Disclosure:  ZDNet and CNET are units of CBS Interactive, a client of Plesser Holland public relations.

Andy Plesser, Executive Producer