What's MySpace Without The Video You Want

MySpace has taken another step in the direction of protecting the rights of music and publishing companies by announcing the implementation of technology from Audible Magic Corp that will provide a second layer of protection from posting unauthorized video clips. The system scans video clips and searches for signature vectors such as a unique digital fingerprint and compares it with information in their database.

Now, MySpace can block content and with this system search for unauthorized use through the fingerprinting technology. Unless, of course, the record label wants the video to be used as a promotional tool and then MySpace can accommodate that, too. This is all well and good for MySpace which has a separate lawsuit from Universal to deal with regarding copyright infringement, but it begs the question what will the next generation think of a social networking site that is starting to control them.

Social networking to Gen Y is the holy grail. It helps them to feel like they have some control over their digital lives. That's one of the reasons they like to use MySpace to search for new bands and even buy songs -- at their option. What they may not like is the residue of a movement that is underway currently with social networks such as YouTube to take back control of artists' right. You can't blame them except that this generation may not cede control that easily.

Unprotected digital audio is expected as inevitable by the next generation. They are just waiting for the record labels to find a graceful way to give up on DRM. It is virtually impossible to protect content on the Internet. You don't have to look any further than Russia to find sites that are selling cheap music that they don't have a right to sell. Check out this too good to be true website.

More importantly, how will legitimate attempts to reign in abuse of digital rights on social networking sites sit with the "electorate". There are many who believe that even if YouTube and MySpace could operate for the next few years as they were originally designed -- without consideration to serious rights management -- that they would still peak and eventually decline in popularity sooner rather than later.

One reason for that is that the fickle Gen Y'ers have a short attention span even for what they like. Will it get shorter as site owners protect themselves from the certain lawsuits that are to come for putting their material out there to be stolen? The labels want it both ways. They want the viral buzz that comes from social networking and they want to shut it down when it comes time to selling their products.

They have a right to both, but unlike the much anticipated 2008 presidential election, this "election" is happening every day and in cyberspace everyone votes.