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YouTube to share ad revenue with content creators

YouTube is to share advertising revenues with the real stars of its site, the people who make and send in videos.

Chad Hurley, YouTube co-founder, has confirmed that his team is working on a mechanism that would reward creativity and may even be ready within months. The offer only applies to those who own full copyright of the video sent in.

The scheme will be rolled out gradually with no plans for a big launch, Hurley was quick to say, when announcing the plans at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Other video sharing sites in the UK, such as mobile phone service 3, already share the revenue of popular videos with those that send them in. The videos have to be popular enough to raise ad revenues.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum, Hurley explained why YouTube was only considering this type of payment now.

He said: "We didn't feel it was a great way to build a community. We wanted to keep it pure." However, since the Google takeover "we are getting an audience large enough where we can foster creativity through sharing revenue with our users".

The site is also working on "audio fingerprinting" technologies to identify copyrighted material within videos, although further details on this are not available yet.

YouTube, which was bought by Google in October last year for $1.65bn (£884m), reportedly has more than 70m viewers a month. It has repeatedly been at the centre of controversy and found itself up against music publishers and movie studios because of uploaded content and copyright issues.

Only last week, 20th Century Fox began legal proceedings to make YouTube identify the user that uploaded several unseen episodes of drama '24'.

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