Anvato Service Identifies Video Copyright Infringements

Anvato screenshotAnvato, a company founded just last year, has launched its core video content protection technology and contextual advertising platform.

Anvato Content ID is a video verification service that relies on computer vision algorithms to allow video content owners to monitor video distribution sites and identify copyright infringements.

Content owners can then decide whether to send take-down notices or invoices to receive a share of the advertising revenue.

"The objective is not to get content owners to take down all their videos on the Web, but to help them monetize it," said Alper Turgut, Anvato founder and CEO. "We want to turn the whole issue of copyright infringement into a revenue opportunity."

Content ID relies on something called Perceptual Signature technology that emulates human vision by identifying scenes, objects and movements inside a video. Unlike watermarking or Digital Rights Management techniques, it does not require embedding any fingerprint inside the videos.

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Anvato has so far used this technology to search "infringements" of 20 CBS prime-time programs, which aired during the past six months, and has already detected videos that have been viewed approximately 22 million times on online video distribution sites such as YouTube, Veoh and DailyMotion.

Whether CBS has signed on as a paying client of Anvato's, or whether the two companies are merely in a trial, neither Anvato's Turgut or a CBS spokeswoman would say.

Viacom--which is currently in a legal battle with Google over YouTube's right to carry Viacom content without its permission--would seemingly make good use of Anvato's new technology.

Viacom spokesman Jeremy Zweig, however, said the company has no existing relationship with Anvato, and he would not comment on the potential for a partnership in the future.

Turgut, meanwhile, would not presently disclose any clients, but said the company plans to announce a major publishing partner in September. Agencies and advertisers are also potential customers for Anvato, Turgut said.

Going beyond identification of content, Anvato's Perceptual Signature technology contains unique information about the content of videos that can also used to place contextually relevant advertisements. As a result, Anvato is also launching a set of tools for advertisers and publishers to create unobtrusive ads.

Anvato has so far received about $550,000 in funding from New York angels and media executives including William Lohse, founder of Softbank Forums and former president of Ziff-Davis; Jeff Ballowe, former president of Ziff-Davis Interactive Media; and Ogden Capital.

Turgut, who said he has invested millions of his own money into Anvato, is presently seeking additional funding.

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