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YouTube founder Chad Hurley says the company will soon start to share advertising revenue with users of the service who post popular videos.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Saturday, Hurley gave no details of how this would be achieved or how much contributors would be paid.

Hurley told the Financial Times that the company had initially rejected paying for content because "we didn't feel it was a great way to build a community. We wanted to keep it pure".

But thanks to an audience which has grown since the company was taken over by Google, this had changed. Hurley said: "We are getting an audience large enough where we have an opportunity to support creativity, to foster creativity through sharing revenue with our users. So in the coming months we are going to be opening that up."

Several of YouTube's rivals offer people who upload video content a cut of advertising revenue.

But the video site is still dealing with legal hassles over its existing content - Fox last week became the latest media company to go after it for allowing the appearance of episodes of 24 and The Simpsons.

One of today's popular videos is footage of Richard Hammond crashing in a rocket-propelled car from last night's Top Gear show. The footage is also available on the Top Gear website, but shows the difficulty of policing such content. ®

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