Today sees MSN Soapbox return to a public beta after having closed back in March. The reason given for the closure was that Microsoft needed time to deliver a technological solution to resolve the piracy issues that have plagued other user-generated video sites such as YouTube.
The relaunch sees several backend changes taking place, notably around performance and encoding. What is significant is that Soapbox is also adding CopySense technology from Audible Magic to automatically filter our copyright content. On top of this, content owners will be given access to automated tools allowing them to find and remove their copyrighted content. MSN Soapbox currently features a new UI that was launched at the end of April and brought the service much closer to MSN Video and the other MSN Entertainment websites.
While this is a move that will please the content owners and not the users, it’ll be interesting to see how this and the YouTube lawsuit affects Sopabox’s long term popularity. (YouTube is also integrating Audible Magic technology.)
Still to come is the new video site from NBC Universal, News Corp, AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo to create “the largest Internet video distribution network ever assembled with the most sought-after content from television and film. …The video-rich site will debut this summer with thousands of hours of full-length programming, movies and clips, representing premium content from at least a dozen networks and two major film studios.” With Microsoft already offering content from these providers on MSN Video, there seems to be the potential for some significant overlap here. Lots still to happen in this area for sure.
The Soapbox team now has a post up
but fails to mention the new copyright technology. Transparency guys. Now they do.