Google has announced plans to implement a digital video fingerprint system on YouTube to protect copyright holders. The service, which has been in the works for quite some time, will be operational by September, at least according to Philip Beck, a YouTube/Google attorney. Google responded with a healthy dose of ambiguity, but it is clear that the system is currently under intense evaluation and will be made available in the very near future. The system allows YouTube to auto-filter new uploads, testing for the digital “watermark” when users try to up new content to the site. If a new video is found to contain previously copyrighted material it will be removed immediately. It’s not clear if the offending user will be subject to any sort of legal repercussions. It only takes a couple of minutes to screen each clip. The digital footprint will not solve all of Google’s copyright issues, but should help alleviate some of the concerns (and lawsuits) levied against the company’s ever-increasing stake in the online video marketplace.Read