While we can't argue the usefulness of sites like YouTube, certain content "owners" have some (understandable) beef with their media (or text, etc.) being passed around the internet
like hors d'oeuvres at a reception. While scanning programs aren't exactly new, Attributor Corp. is hoping to cash in on the recent push to eliminate unlicensed content
from floating around so freely
. The company's yet-to-be-named software purportedly scans the internet for specific "digital fingerprints" tailored to a client's media, and can sniff out occurrences with "as little as a few sentences of text or a few seconds of audio / video." The firm says that it will have "over 10 billion web pages" in its index before the end of the year, presumably implanting fear in the hearts of dubious uploaders everywhere. Of course, the company could stand to make hefty profits by extracting portions of royalties companies and individuals are able to garner thanks to its eagle-eyed software, and also hopes to "encourage more owners to put their content online with confidence that they'll be able to police its use and share in any profits." Although Attributor has started testing the system already, it won't be officially available until "the first quarter of 2007," and more notably, it won't be sweeping those oh-so-dodgy P2P networks
anyway (at least initially).