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Viacom Sues Google, YouTube

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Since negotiations fell apart between YouTube and Viacom, analysts have been speculating about whether or not the media conglomerate would take legal action against the popular video-sharing site. Specifically in light of the fact that Viacom video clips continue to appear in YouTube’s library on a regular basis.

Viacom Sues Google, YouTube
Viacom Sues Google, YouTube

That the speculation can now be put to rest. Today, Viacom has filed suit against Google and YouTube for $1 billion dollars.

In its official statement regarding the suit, Viacom outlines the reasons behind the commencement of legal action:

YouTube is a significant, for-profit organization that has built a lucrative business out of exploiting the devotion of fans to others’ creative works in order to enrich itself and its corporate parent Google. Their business model, which is based on building traffic and selling advertising off of unlicensed content, is clearly illegal and is in obvious conflict with copyright laws.

In fact, YouTube’s strategy has been to avoid taking proactive steps to curtail the infringement on its site, thus generating significant traffic and revenues for itself while shifting the entire burden — and high cost — of monitoring YouTube onto the victims of its infringement.

Critics of Google’s decision to buy YouTube in October 2006 predicted the purchase would create an enormous legal liability for the Google. Mark Cuban’s inevitable ‘I told you so’ post should be entertaining if nothing else. Even though Google reportedly has over $11 billion in cash lying around, Viacom’s asking price for damages still represents a substantial chunk of change.

Google has issued the following response:

"We have not received the lawsuit but are confident that YouTube has  respected the legal rights of copyright holders  and believe the courts  will agree.

YouTube is great for users and offers real opportunities to rights holders: the opportunity to interact with users; to promote their  content to a young and growing audience; and to tap into the online advertising market.

We will certainly not let this suit become a  distraction to the continuing growth and strong performance of YouTube 
and its ability to attract more users, more traffic and build a stronger  community."

 So, early word out of Google basically contends that they are not in violation of copyright laws, Viacom can ‘go fish’, and the plan seems to be business as usual for YouTube.  This one promises to be interesting.  

Viacom Sues Google, YouTube
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  • Anonymous

    Wait a minute here, so Comedy Central yes and the rest of Viacom’s content no?

  • Anonymous

    Time for them and all video libraries and sites providing them to ban together as one. Computer technology-Our aim the stars, our goal, infinity.