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The clampdown on video copyright abuse continued Monday as social network giant MySpace announced measures to curb the use of copyrighted videos on member pages.

A new feature, called Take Down Stay Down, prevents users from reposting videos that have been removed at the request of the copyright owner. MySpace has several other copyright protection features already available which are designed to prevent users from uploading bootlegged music or making illegal video uploads.

The social network site, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, also has a Content Take Down tool which allows copyright owners to request unauthorised content be taken down.

"We have created this new feature [Take Down Stay Down] to solve a problem that has long frustrated copyright holders and presented technical challenges to service providers - how to prevent copyrighted content from being re-posted by the same or a different user after it has been taken down by the copyright owner," Michael Angus, executive vice president and general counsel for Fox Interactive Media told United Press International.

Angus said the feature "re-enforces MySpace's position as the leader in copyright protection on the internet".

The entertainment industry has put pressure on new media organisations like MySpace and YouTube to pay more care to copyright matters. In November Universal Music Group sued MySpace claiming the social-networking site was infringing on the copyrights of thousands of songs and videos.

This was followed by Viacom taking action against YouTube in March. The entertainment giant filed a $1bn lawsuit against the video sharing site, which is owned by Google, claiming it played host to 160,000 works infringing copyright. Following Viacom's legal action, Google's chief executive Eric Schmidt announced in April that the internet giant was close to enacting a filtering service that would prevent copyright content from being uploaded to YouTube.

Interestingly both of the sites coming under intense legal pressure to protect copyright were the subjects of high profile buyouts in recent years. Last year Google spent $1.6bn on YouTube, while News Corporation paid $580m for MySpace in 2005.

Copyright © 2007, ENN

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