MTV, MySpace: The New Ad Men Of Pirated Video

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MTV Networks, which is the parent company of such television channels as MTV, BET, Comedy Central, Spike and Nickelodeon, is placing Auditude's technology—which puts a digital "fingerprint" on content—on a limited number of videos from their stations.

The move, MTV is hoping, will serve as a way to see residual income from pirated video rather than just demanding their removal. MySpace has also decided to adopt the technology, which provides a number of patented assets, including a sophisticated ad-serving platform with a video-fingerprinting system that cross-indexes billions of seconds of TV and online footage in seconds, Reuters reports.

"This is a game-changer," said Jeff Berman, president of sales and marketing at MySpace, told Reuters. "We're going from a world of no to a world of yes while protecting the rights of the copyright holder."

The ads Auditude will serve on copyrighted material that surfaces on MySpace are called "attribution overlay." These types of ads lay a transparent ribbon across the lower third of the video—though the format may change as the project progresses. The ads, however, will identify the channel the content originated from and provide links to full-length, downloadable or purchasable content. In addition, Auditude's technology allows for a second brand to project its image into the ad, which could open a second video player.

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The television programs that MTV Networks is tracking are limited for the time being but now include a mix of current and archived programs of "Punk'd," "True Life," "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," "The Colbert Report" and "Reno 911."

YouTube, owned by Google, has been doing something similar since last year. When a video is uploaded to YouTube, copyrighted is identified and the owner is given the choice to places ads on the video or have it removed. If it's not removed, the copyright owner receives a portion of the revenue.

But Mika Salmi, president of global digital media at MTV Networks, drew a clear distinction between the two sites and services.

"This deal with MySpace is quite different," Salmi told Reuters. "MySpace has always respected copyright and is more progressive about copyright in our mind. The way we're pushing this out with Auditude and MySpace is different than with YouTube or our past associations there."

Viacom, the parent of MTV Networks, is currently involved in a billion-dollar lawsuit with Google and YouTube over copyright infringement.