Nielsen Wants Role as Online Video Cop

New service will fingerprint programming to prevent video piracy
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Dec 5, 2007 10:11 AM CST
YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley, left, and Steve Chen, right, pose for a portrait after an interview at the Associated Press' bureau in San Francisco, Thursday, May 17, 2007.    (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Television ratings giant Nielsen is getting set to take a new role—video piracy cop. The company says its new service, Digital Media Manager, will fingerprint programming to make sure videos can be posted on Internet sites like MySpace and YouTube only if they have owners' permission, reports the Wall Street Journal.

A number of other, smaller companies have a head start in offering policing services to content companies, but Nielsen has the advantage that it already tracks 95% of programming for its rating service. "The point is the big boys are coming, and that signals that this is a field that has reached technological maturity," says an NBC exec, predicting it will be widely adopted and lead to a dramatic reduction in theft of copyrighted material.