March 13, 2007

Viacom Goes After $1 Billion of Google's Cash

It has a nice "Dr. Evil" ring to it. Viacom is suing Google for $1 billion dollars, saying the company, through its acquired YouTube video sharing property had used its programming online without authorization. The suit is more than just saber-rattling and content takedown requests, but poses a very serious threat to the future of YouTube.

Viacom famously demanded that YouTube remove all of its copyrighted content from its servers, more than 100,000 clips, and give up the names of those who had posted the files, ranging from Comedy Central "fake news" to MTV videos. Meanwhile, Mark Cuban and others railed on Google and YouTube's seeming inability to filter uploads to prevent the posting of copyrighted material. But Google, as many ISPs have when their users go astray, said the onus was on the individual.

Viacom, I believe accurately, says that "YouTube's strategy has been to avoid taking proactive steps to curtail the infringement on its site." After all, Google and YouTube before it, are in the business of selling ads, and whatever drives traffic to the ads is money in the bank. After spending $1.65 billion to acquire YouTube, Google has a very big potential headache on its hands now, as one of the biggest media giants on Earth isn't messing around.

1 comment:

  1. Very funny reference to Dr. Evil. LOL. I can picture him with his pinky held up to the side of his mouth.