MySpace and MTV are joining forces in a bid to make money from pirated videos.

The two companies are working with Auditude, a start-up firm that has developed technology that can identify any video which has been uploaded to the MySpace by someone other than the copyright owner, and allow the content owner to insert ads in the video, the companies said.

The Auditude tool can be used to add information to a video clip, along with ecommerce links providing opportunities to buy expanded clips or merchandise related to the content.

"Auditude is opening the floodgates for users to program video on MySpace and ensure copyright holders get paid," Jeff Berman, president of marketing and sales at MySpace, said.

"In one fell swoop, Auditude and its partners are empowering consumers and building a better business model."

The stakes have been high in the battle between media companies like Viacom and sites like YouTube that provide a home for user-uploaded online videos. In March 2007, Viacom filed a $1bn (£630m) lawsuit against YouTube's parent company Google, contending that videos shown on the site infringed on its patents.

Rick Turoczy, a blogger at Read Write Web, noted that the partnership could prompt content owners to stop efforts to halt the posting of clips from their television shows online.

"[The partnership] might have those content owners changing their tune - and actually encouraging people to upload all the content they want," he added.

"With Auditude, MTV Networks will be able to identify practically any of their content on MySpace - so long as Auditude has a record of it - without relying on user-generated keywords or tags. Once identified, the MySpace-hosted MTV content becomes an advertising platform for MTV," Turoczy said.

NEXT PAGE: Identifying content ensures MTV can extend its reach

MySpace and MTV are joining forces in a bid to make money from pirated videos.

While Auditude's technology isn't new, its application of it is, Turoczy added.

"In the past, content owners have used identification methods as a means of identifying unauthorised content for the sake of calling out the attack dogs and sending take-down notices," Turoczy noted.

"The Auditude solution takes exactly the opposite tack: identifying content as a means to extend MTV Networks' reach with the MySpace audience. It's an incredibly innovative way to embrace the behaviour of today's web users while giving something back to the content owners."

He went on to note that the Auditude tool also provides detailed viewing metrics and click-thru data metrics to content owners, which has been hard to come by for online video.

"MTV Networks also gains the ability to compare those MySpace findings with the information they have about television viewers and people who access MTV Networks' content through authorised distribution channels," he said.

"For an industry that lives and dies by audience analysis, this new windfall of data - from a previously untapped resource - is a veritable metrics gold mine, certain to provide reams of reports and analysis in the short term. In the long term, it could change how - and where - MTV Networks' programming is released and distributed."

Jason Kincaid, a blogger at TechCrunch, added that after years of being told not to upload these videos, users may be hesitant at first to warm to a new policy.

"But if it catches on (and it probably will), expect to see content owners flock to form partnerships with MySpace - there isn't currently another video platform out there that is able to identify and monetise content this effectively," Kincaid added.

"We'll probably also see the Auditude platform implemented elsewhere as other sites try to catch up."