Microsoft's Soapbox returns with filtering technology

Video-sharing site once plagued by copyright violations now features filtering system from Audible Magic.

Greg Sandoval Former Staff writer
Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.
Greg Sandoval

update Microsoft is again inviting people to join video-sharing site Soapbox, following the site's two-month hiatus.

On Friday, Soapbox re-emerged with software tools designed to thwart copyright violations. A note posted on Soapbox's blog said the systems, created by digital fingerprinting company Audible Magic, offer "proactive filtering" of videos uploaded to the site.

"Audible Magic bases their filtering on the video's audio track and their database is being updated constantly," Soapbox said in its blog.

In March, Soapbox abruptly stopped accepting new registrations. The move came a day after Microsoft agreed to stream long-form video for a joint venture between NBC Universal and News Corp.

To that point, Soapbox was littered with pirated videos. This put Microsoft in a pickle. The software giant was agreeing to distribute content for entertainment companies whose copyright was commonly violated at its video-sharing site.

How would that look?

Soapbox joins such competitors as Guba, BitTorrent, MySpace and Dailymotion, which have launched filtering programs. YouTube, the sector's top player, is more than six months late in deploying a system.

Like YouTube, Soapbox offers an embeddable player that users can post to other Web sites.

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