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Media Heads Unveil Guidelines for Online Content

Several of the world's leading Internet and media companies have announced their joint support for a set of collaborative principles that enable the continued growth and development of user-generated content online and respect the intellectual property of content owners.

The principles are intended as a comprehensive set of guidelines to help user-generated content (UGC) services and content creators bring more content to more consumers while protecting copyrights. The guidelines underline that filtering technologies must be effective and that they are only a part of what is necessary to achieve this goal. Companies supporting the principles include CBS Corp., Dailymotion, Fox Entertainment Group, Microsoft Corp., MySpace, NBC Universal, Veoh Networks Inc., Viacom Inc. and The Walt Disney Company.

The principles, which are available in full at, call for a broad range of cooperative efforts by copyright owners and UGC services. They include:

* Implementation of state-of-the-art filtering technology with the goal to eliminate infringing content on UGC services, including blocking infringing uploads before they are made available to the public;

* Upgrading technology when commercially reasonable;

* Cooperating to ensure that the technology is implemented in a manner that effectively balances legitimate interests, including fair use;

* Cooperation in developing procedures for promptly addressing claims that content was blocked in error;

* Regularly using the technology to remove infringing content that was uploaded before the technology could block it;

* Identification and removal of links to sites that are clearly dedicated to, and predominantly used for, the dissemination of infringing content;

* Promotion of content-rich, infringement-free services by continuing to cooperatively test new technologies and by collaboratively updating these principles as appropriate to keep current with evolving developments.

The companies believe that adopting such principles is essential to achieving the enormous potential opened up by the Internet through UGC services and that widespread adoption will encourage innovation, enable new creative expression and further the goal of eliminating infringing content from UGC services.