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Report: Emails May Make Viacom’s Case In YouTube Suit

YouTube employees could have discussed, uploaded unauthorized content

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This morning, YouTube appears to be a touch closer to losing a lawsuit and owing Viacom $1 billion dollars.  A report indicates that some new evidence has surfaced in a 31-month-old case, and the evidence supposedly shows that YouTube employees didn’t quite do their best to keep copyrighted content off the site. 

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Greg Sandoval wrote, "YouTube e-mails indicate that YouTube managers knew and discussed the existence of unauthorized content on the site with employees but chose not to remove the material, three sources with knowledge of the case told CNET."  Which would be bad for YouTube’s plead-ignorance defense.

Then there’s something that, if true, would be much worse.  Sandoval also wrote, "Lawyers working on a $1 billion copyright lawsuit filed by Viacom against Google’s YouTube may have uncovered evidence that employees of the video site were among those who uploaded unauthorized content to YouTube."

Now, it’s important to remember that YouTube’s cleaned up its act in recent times (see Content ID articles), so a defeat here shouldn’t result in a shutdown of the site.  Also, Google’s current market cap is $156.91 billion, so it can pretty well afford a payout.

Still, no corporation wants to forfeit $1 billion, and if Viacom wins its suit against YouTube, other companies’ lawyers are liable to smell the blood/cash in the water.

This long-stalled lawsuit will bear watching in the weeks ahead.

Report: Emails May Make Viacom’s Case In YouTube Suit


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  • Thomas

    Media companies are digging their own holes. They are most directly responsible for declining revenues than anyone or anything else. When it gets to the point where someone’s mom is getting sued for a funny home video that happens to include some song that was playing on the radio in the background at the time, then the Media companies had better watch out.

    All it takes is one resourceful business startup to provide an alternative licensing model that makes sense, doesn’t fret too much over stupid kids copying some digital files, and will focus again on the actual consumer – people who want and can afford the media produced by artists and the companies that represent them.

    Most of the music and movies that I purchase today are the result of movie previews I saw on fan sites somewhere (which is technically illegal), or from hearing the soundtracks online, or from the music playing in the background of some popular YouTube videos.

    And what about video and audio that kids or students would love to use for projects, or to practice media editing/mixing/production and prepare for what is becoming a quickly growing profession? Used to be you could clip the magazine pages or record what you were hearing on the radio, and use it for some presentation. Not anymore.

    So, Media Giants… go ahead and dig your holes. Someone else will come along soon and fill it in for you.

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