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Google CEO Eric Schmidt said yesterday that the company will shortly release content-filtering software that will keep copyright-protected videos off YouTube, Google's video-sharing site. The tool, called "Claim Your Content," should be available within a few weeks, Schmidt said at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco. According to Schmidt, the tool will render irrelevant the copyright-infringement issues that led entertainment company Viacom to sue Google for $1 billion last month. In principle, Google will no longer be susceptible to charges that it tolerates piracy by users who upload material to the site. It remains unclear, however, whether the software will automatically detect and block copyrighted material or simply issue automated takedown notices for unauthorized content, a solution unlikely to placate irate media companies. In other news, Schmidt announced the imminent rollout of free presentation software designed to rival Microsoft's PowerPoint application. The program, to be called Google Presents, will be part of Google Docs and Spreadsheets, the company's Internet-based office suite.

Sources: MarketWatch (I, II), CNN.com, MoneyCentral, Red Herring
Commentary: YouTube Close to Copyright Filter; Why It Won't Work [PC Magazine] • How Strong is Viacom’s $1 bn Claim Against Google's YouTube?Why Google Office Matters And Other Microsoft Competitors Don't
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Google, Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG). Competitors: Microsoft, Inc. (NASDAQ:MSFT), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO). ETFs: First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index (NYSEARCA:FDN), First Trust IPOX-100 Index (NYSEARCA:FPX), iShares S&P Global Technology (NYSEARCA:IXN)
Conference call transcripts: Q4 2006

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Source: Google to Roll Out "Claim Your Content" on YouTube