Policing the Net

Published: Thursday 30 April 1998

With the growth of the Internet has come problems of copyright infringement. Given the decentralised nature of the Web, it is a daunting task to keep track of copyright pirates. But now US-based Broadcast Music Inc is using a program to monitor how copyrighted music is being used on the Internet. The program scans the Web sites which use music files, an estimated 26,000 sites in the US alone. Then it identifies the sound clips being used at these sites and checks whether permission has been obtained. If not, it informs the site of its copyright violation. The program is being used on commercial sites currently ( Communications of the ACM , Vol 40, No 12).

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