NEW YORK -- Instead of trying to take down all copyright-protected videos that its members post, MySpace will let certain clips stay — and give the creators of the original content a cut of the revenue from advertising that will be attached to the snippets.
MySpace and online video ad technology company Auditude planned to announce a partnership Monday with Viacom Inc.-owned MTV Networks that will let ads be placed in clips of the network's shows that users upload to MySpace. These include Comedy Central's The Colbert Report and MTV's reality show The Hills.
MySpace generally tries to keep such clips off its social network along with other copyright-protected content that users post. The News Corp.-owned site removes clips at the request of the videos' copyright owners. Google Inc.'s YouTube has a similar policy, although Viacom is suing YouTube for allegedly profiting from clips of Viacom shows posted online.
Now MySpace will take a different approach with videos produced by partners it makes in its new ad deal.
Under this first partnership, MySpace users will be allowed to upload videos of MTV Networks shows. Technology from Auditude will detect and identify the clip, and overlay an ad on it. Revenue generated from the ads will be shared by MySpace, Auditude and the content copyright holders.
Auditude's chief executive, Adam Cahan, said the system will tag videos with a so-called "attribution overlay" — a semitransparent bar across the bottom of a video that give viewers information like the episode's original air date and a link to buy the episode.
One of these will appear for about 10 to 15 seconds near the start of a video, and be followed by an ad.
The overlays and ads are expected to start showing up on MySpace in the coming weeks, and MySpace and Auditude predicted that new ad formats and ad partners will soon follow.
But will users be bothered by having ads tacked to videos they post to their MySpace pages?
Jeff Berman, MySpace's president of marketing and sales, thinks people will prefer that to having copyright-protected content filtered out entirely.