The content filtering technology that YouTube has promised media partners for almost a year now may finally see the light of day this fall. Or maybe not.

A lawyer for Google (which owns YouTube) told the judge presiding over Viacom's copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube that the system would be live 'hopefully" by September.

The ability to identify uploaded copyrighted material to the service, and then either restrict the upload or note when content owners should be compensated for its use, is the key requirement behind the company's licensing deals. It first promised such as system last fall, but has yet to implement it.

YouTube will remove content from its service at the content owners request, but users generally repost it almost immediately. Viacom filed a $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube, and parent company Google, this March claiming "brazen" copyright infringement.