Attributor scans web for copyright violations

Updated

attributorlogo.bmpAttributor, a Redwood City start-up, is scanning the Web to fingerprint pages for copyrighted audio, video, images and text, to give publishers a way to request that Web sites take down priated content — or pay for it, at least.

The company’s statement is here; there’s a good summary in the WSJ today.

This service has an obvious market, highlighted by YouTube’s continued hosting of pirated video and music. Publishers need tools to find that content, in order to request YouTube take it down.

The company has just raised a second round of venture capital, bringing its total to $10 million. Led by Sigma Partners, the latest round includes Selby Venture Partners, Draper Richards, First Round Capital and Amicus Capital. Ron Conway is also a seed investor.

It is the latest company of Jim Brock, formerly a Yahoo senior vice president of Yahoo, and Jim Pitkow, former chief executive of Moreover, who has done extensive research in information retrieval.

Its also the latest company with a name ending with the active/aggressive suffix, “-tor,” as in termina-tor and. Another product, Xcavator by CogniSign, is also looking at ways to help publishers find copyrighted ads online.

Indigo Stream Technologies, based in Gibraltar, offers a free service called Copyscape that does something similar to Attributor — it assesses a Web page and then uses Google’s search engine to look for a pirated copy elsewhere the Web.

Attributor is still in testing mode, but should be released next year. We first mentioned Attributor in June.