The San Jose Mercury News is reporting Google has signed a deal with Audible Magic to screen uploaded videos for copyrighted content. Just days after Google’s Eric Schmidt confirmed YouTube would roll out anti-piracy measures – which we all assumed would be something developed internally – we learn that the video sharing site will partner with the very same company MySpace partnered with last week.
The big question now is whether YouTube can maintain its popularity, once it starts screening for copyrighted content. Could YouTube become the next Napster – immensely popular while unregulated, but now just a shadow of its former self?
YouTube is “definitely going to lose popularity,” said Jesse Drew, acting director of the technocultural studies program at University of California-Davis. “These things become popular because they are underground and free and accessible.”