Soapbox is MSN’s answer to YouTube, recently purchased by Google. Both are online publishing platforms for videos produced by non-professionals. Neither had content filters to catch use of copyrighted material.

Professional video producers wanting to earn a return from online distribution of their videos prefer services like Brightcove.

As tempers flared hotter over unauthorized use of videos online, MSN took Soapbox offline to work on content filtering.

Ars Technica reports that Soapbox is back, with content filtering provided by Audible Magic and streamlined methods to request content be removed:

Back in March, the company sent letters to various industry leaders saying that it was focusing on “industry-leading notice and takedown practices, including tools that enable our content partners to more easily find content that is rightfully theirs and give us prompt notice so we can respond even more efficiently and expeditiously.” Although the letter did not address any sort of filtering solution that would have been preferred by most content providers, some still said that they were pleased with MSN’s proactive approach to dealing with copyright violations.

YouTube remains unfiltered.

Audible Magic’s services support online management of copyrighted material:

  • Register copyrighted material: this action enables other services by Audible Magic through “fingerprints” created from the registered material that can be compared against fingerprints created from material suspected of unauthorized use.

  • Filter unauthorized use on networks: owners of private networks can purge unauthorized copies from their network. Obviously, the filtering is limited to copyrighted materials that have been registered with Audible Magic.

  • Verify copyright ownership: replication services can check that a company requesting replication actually owns the copyright. Again, limited to material already registered with Audible Magic.

  • Filter unauthorized use on websites: this is the service used by MSN Soapbox. Obviously, the filtering is limited to copyrighted materials that have been registered with Audible Magic.

Now the ball is in YouTube’s court, with Viacom breathing fire over unauthorized use in an entirely different sort of court.

[cehwiedel also writes at]