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Did YouTube recognise it?

posted Dec 12, 2012, 11:59 AM by Eddie Woo
A couple of days ago I uploaded the video of Woodhouse Goodbye, which was a parody of the 1971 song American Pie. Following our recent discussion of multimedia, copyright, and the countermeasures against copyright infringement, some of you asked whether my video would be noticed by YouTube's sophisticated recognition software. Well you know me - I never pass up an opportunity to teach something - so hold onto your hats and get ready for an explanation! 

Google, who own YouTube, call the system Content ID. This video does as good a job as any to explain the essence of how it works. If you dig a little further you'll find that they didn't invent the algorithm (or the database) used to recognise "acoustic fingerprints" of uploaded material - they have licensed it from a company called Audible Magic. Regardless of where it comes from, it's pretty clever stuff. 

So, the big question - did it work on my song? It's a legitimate question, especially seeing as I almost entirely rewrote the lyrics from the original (and the guitar playing wasn't exactly crash-hot either). Well, this screenshot should answer that question (click thumbnail to enlarge):