It may sound like a game show for accountants, but Claim Your Content is actually the name of YouTube's new content monitoring tool. As near as we can figure, it's an automated feature that accompanies every user-uploaded video. Content owners, including such publicly announced Claim Your Content charter members as the NHL and the NBA, will have the right to log in and yank any content that they feel is an infringement of copyright.
Now, we will be eager to see exactly how this yanking process works, and if there is any room in it for protest, deliberation or out-and-out legal confrontation. Frankly, an automated censoring product seems a little bit scary. What is clear at this point is that this is Google's way of appeasing some of the angrier content owners who have already taken action. According to a wire report, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said today that the tool may at least help play down the allegation that YouTube encourages copyright infringement. "As that product rolls out, the issue becomes moot," said Schmidt.