Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Web Copyright Protection Tool

I originally found this article on Digg about a start-up company that has created a way to "scan the Web for violations."

The company, Attributor, another egregious spelling error despite the fact that it does get its point across, has taken on the monumental task of combing the Web for the kind of copyright violations we have become accustomed to hearing about when large media companies send letters and file lawsuits against websites like YouTube for copyright violations.

Certainly the big targets of violations are websites like YouTube, MySpace and a host of music sharing websites, but there are other, smaller targets, like websites that quietly copy content from other business and governmental websites either because they are too lazy to write it themselves or they think no one will notice. Google and Yahoo duplicate content filters can only do so much, and people have figured out how to trick them into thinking the content is original when it is not. So called "black-hat" tactics that go unnoticed. For content authors everywhere, this tool might be rather useful.

Attributor's tool has the potential to fill a void for companies, large and small, as well as the potential to create a backlash from the Web community. Some might see it as "Big Brother," watching what they post and where they got it, making some content producers more cautious and others more brazen. Media companies might see it as a saving grace: countless man hours can now be devoted to developing new ideas and building business instead of scouring the Web for violators and infringer's and defending itself against them.

Either way, Attributor will add another layer of complexity to an already complex debate. And it clearly won't spell the end of company names and catch phrases that seem to perpetuate the butchering of the English language.

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