Gracenote Inc., whose database supplies song names when you pop a CD into your computer, is branching into video.
The company has expanded its classification and recognition technology to images and is looking to partner with studios to build a movie library as robust as its collection of songs — now totaling 15 million.
It will eventually be used to both identify DVDs (and organize ripped movies, should the studios allow that) and determine if online videos contain copyright material. Gracenote showed off DVD-identifying software Monday at the International Consumer Electronics Show.
Gracenote also is partnering with Philips Electronics NV on a video-fingerprinting technology that would break down YouTube mash-ups into their discrete parts, so that copyright holders could quickly discover when their works are being used without permission.
In a demonstration, the technology identified several seconds of Usher's "Yeah!" and Beyonce's "Crazy In Love" in the popular faux trailer "10 Things I Hate About Commandments." It also listed the record labels that hold the copyrights.
Several other companies — including Audible Magic, Auditude and Vobile — are pushing rival video-fingerprinting products. The Motion Picture Association of America tested over a dozen copyright protection technologies and narrowed the field to four, including Gracenote's.
Stephen White, vice president of product and content management for the Emeryville, Calif.-based Gracenote, said "nobody wins" if the number of videos on YouTube or other sites suddenly shrinks when they gain the ability to filter out such content.
He said he hoped the technology would prompt studios and labels to create "business rules" to ensure all involved are compensated by user-submitted video.