Major labels are now awaiting a YouTube content filtering system, originally
slated for delivery by the end of last year.
Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and Sony BMG have all established amicable licensing agreements with YouTube, though the deals are contingent upon the delivery of the filtering controls. The YouTube system is also expected to automatically distribute royalties derived from the revenue-sharing arrangements. The year-end timetable was probably aggressive, and few would characterize the YouTube effort as trivial. Regardless, a flawed system is likely to ruffle feathers. Filtering mechanisms have been historically difficult to implement, and previous efforts at other companies have resulted in numerous gaffes and embarrassments.
Most recently, reformed P2P iMesh faced a barrage of executive criticism following the release of a leaky protection system. Many of those holes were eventually plugged, though iMesh and partner Audible Magic struggled initially to create an airtight release. In its earlier life, iMesh was an open peer-to-peer application, though it agreed to re-launch as a filtered, paid system as part of its larger settlement with the RIAA. In an earlier era, the original Napster also struggled to restrict and filter unauthorized content, and was eventually forced to shut down. Meanwhile, file-sharing heavyweight LimeWire is rallying labels to authorize a paid P2P system, one that would avoid filtering but charge 99-cents for available content.