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Reuters Is Watching

Reuters has announced a facial-recognition video search program this week. In conjunction with Viewdle, facial recognition software, Reuters will index its videos so that readers can search its news footage for individuals.

Reuters’ video search results currently appear in a box at the right of the Reuters’ SERPs:
Reuters video search results

The Face Search feature, currently housed at Reuters Labs, gives a vastly different result page:

Reuters Labs facial recognition video search

The text listings here are less illustrative than the screencaps used in the standard interface. However, the results are doubtlessly more thorough. For the face search, Viewdle takes the video frame-by-frame for complete analysis. Handily, these results return the clips cued to the exact time that the individual first appears.

MediaPost reports that the feature will be integrated into the new site after an evaluation of user statistics and feedback.

Internet TV Goes to the Next Level?

The New York Times reports that Internet television will be taken to the next level this fall by the show ‘Quarterlife.’ Rather than taking the traditional television-pirated YouTube copy-DMCA notice-possible posting at network’s video portal or empty promises route to the Internet for professional video content, ‘Quarterlife’ episodes will premiere on MySpace. The following day, they’ll be available on quarterlife.com, and within a week “generally available on the Web” (I guess this means on YouTube).

Airing Sundays and Thursdays starting in November, the times seems to think the show marks the beginning of a new era for Internet shows. LonelyGirl15 became popular while posing as an authentic vlog; it was only after the show became popular that it was revealed that it was a professional, scripted production. (Incidentally, ‘Quarterlife’ features LonelyGirl15′s character Aunt Alex, Bitsie Tulloch.)

Hulu Already Living Up To Its Name

Lulu not HuluOnly one week has passed since NBC / News Corp announced the name of their online video project – Hulu.
And it was TechCrunch that made us all laugh when they ironically translated Hulu into Swahili – meaning, among other things, “cease” and “desist”.

Observations like that usually fizzle away – at least Jason Kilar, Hulu CEO, wishes it would. Yesterday, Lulu Enterprises confirmed that they have filed a law suit against N-F Newsite LLC (the operating company) for “trademark infringement, unfair and deceptive trade practices and for federal cyberpiracy” in a US District Court on August 22.

Lulu alleges that Hulu, as a result of their recent name and Internet domain announcements, have intentionally attempted to create confusion in the marketplace.
Hulu, in name, as a mark and in their business as a digital content distribution platform, represents a definitive encroachment.

NBC Waste No Time With Amazon Deal

NBCLast Friday (Aug 31) Jordan blogged about the alleged bust-up between NBC Universal and Apple over pricing – also covering the speculation over alternative partners and forecasting a speedy counter-decision from NBC executives.

Well, our First Lady (no offence to Mrs Beal) wasn’t wrong; NBC wasted no time in securing a new download outlet for their premium television shows – swiftly signing a partnership deal to host their digital TV content with Amazon’s Unbox – an online store already selling NBC Universal’s movies.

This represents another blow to Apple – Universal Music Group had already decided not to renew their contract for music downloads over a decision to offer DRM-free content across other networks.

NBC Ditches iTunes

Claiming they’re unable to come to an agreement on pricing, NBC Universal has declined to renew their contract with iTunes to sell downloads of their television shows. The New York Times reports today that NBC, which has provided 40% of iTunes’ video downloads, “is also seeking better piracy controls and wants Apple to allow it to bundle videos to increase revenue.”

Riiiight. Pricing. I totally buy that reasoning, and so does Mike Arrington—NOT. NBC’s crazily-named video site, Hulu.com, launches in private beta in October. I wonder how long it’ll be before they start selling their licensed content there.

Viacom Once Again Abusing DMCA?

image It appears Viacom hasn’t learned its lesson after its last abuse of the DMCA takedown notice. It’s now targeting a YouTube video that includes a clip of a VH1 show, which includes the unauthorized use of video created by the person who uploaded the YouTube clip.

Confused? This should help:

  1. Chris Knight creates a funny video as part of his campaign Rockingham County Board of Education.
  2. Viacom’s VH1 takes the clip from YouTube and uses it in a VH1 segment, without Knight’s permission.
  3. Knight’s flattered and uploads the VH1 clip to YouTube.
  4. Viacom accuses Knight of copyright infringement and YouTube takes down the video.

Absurd? It doesn’t get any more ridiculous than that!

Knight is obviously feeling victimized by Viacom…

YouTube Complies with Viacom, Makes Deal for Music Royalties

As always, copyright issues abound for Google’s video-sharing darling, YouTube. First, Google Blogoscoped found YouTube complying with a copyright take down request from Viacom. Not huge news, other than the fact that the clip in question was apparently featured another clip—which Viacom had used without permission. The removed clip was uploaded by the actual copyright holder, producer Chris Knight.

Wait, what? Let’s walk through that again. Web Junk 2.0, a Viacom-owned VH1 show, used a video clip produced by Chris Knight without his permission. Knight, the rightful copyright holder, uploads the Web Junk 2.0 clip of his clip. Viacom files the standard DMCA take down notice with YouTube so they can take down their stolen stolen content. YouTube complies.