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Viacom Sues Google Over YouTube for $1 Billion

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the everyone-get-their-doctor-evil-fingers-up dept.

Google 508

Snowgen writes "Viacom has filed a $1,000,000,000.00 lawsuit for 'massive intentional copyright infringement' against Google over YouTube video clips. '"YouTube's strategy has been to avoid taking proactive steps to curtail the infringement on its site," Viacom said in a statement. "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.'"

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Whew (5, Funny)

Applekid (993327) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332165)

Good thing they pulled all those Viacom clips from Youtube last few months, otherwise they might have been sued for, like, a billion dollars!

Oh, wait.

Re:Whew (0, Offtopic)

The Webguy (41698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332191)

Let the Games begin! How long before this becomes a class action?

Please: (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18332325)

Google, please drop all Viacom sites from google.com. After all, they hate all the free publicity and promotion you give them.

Re:Please: (5, Funny)

ePhil_One (634771) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332643)

Google, please drop all Viacom sites from google.com.

Yes, Google should hold Viacom sites hostage until they give up their legal rights. I for one welcome our new Google overlords.

Re:Please: (5, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332679)

Google, please drop all Viacom sites from google.com. After all, they hate all the free publicity and promotion you give them.

"Free" publicity?

More accurately, people go to Google to search for stuff like Viacom shows. If Google were ever dumb enough (they aren't) to start self-censoring to penalize foes in other areas of their business, people wouldn't use Google. Google would be shooting themselves in the face to spite a pimple.

And it isn't like this is unexpected. When YouTube was being woo'd, Mark Cuban was widely quoted for saying "Only a moron would buy YouTube" [huffingtonpost.com] (because of the huge potential lawsuit liability). Maybe a better statement would be "only a non-moron that has the cash to pay off the inevitable lawsuits", of which there are only a few companies, Google being one of them.

Yeah, big surprise (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18332169)

I mean, honestly. What was Google EXPECTING to happen when they bought Youtube?

Cue Dr. Evil Jokes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18332171)

"....oh I don't know ... maybe something on the order of one billion trillion gagillion dollars!"

a BILLION? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18332177)

Is that some kind of record? Has anyone actually been sued for a billion dollars before?

Re:a BILLION? (1)

tritonman (998572) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332359)

Maybe they should have sued for 1 Googol dollars (10^100) instead.

Re:a BILLION? (1)

Radon360 (951529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332621)

Hardly. The big tobacco companies have been sued for billions of dollars at a time. Some asbestos class action lawsuits have crossed that threshold, too.

Goodbye Fair Use (1)

the_mushroom_king (708305) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332179)

Hello DRM

I predicted this a while ago (0, Redundant)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332183)

Six months ago, I said this was bound to happen [codemonkeyramblings.com] to Google. Youtube's business model is simply too much like an ad-supported file sharing network. They don't do enough to censor and punish copyright infringers, and now a studio with the resources to sue Google is taking them on in court.

Re:I predicted this a while ago (1)

_PimpDaddy7_ (415866) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332271)

Right. Who's to say other companies won't follow Viacom? I'm sure other companies will be watching(no doubt on YouTube LOL) closely...

Re:I predicted this a while ago (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332381)

Wouldn't that be "YouTube LOL Beta"?

Re:I predicted this a while ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18332369)

Oh hot shit! You were the only one to predict this! How could you have such foresight?

Can you send me the next lottery numbers please?

Re:I predicted this a while ago (4, Interesting)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332393)

Yeah, it seems like many other people shared this view when the news of Google buying Youtube came out.

Youtube was popular but not really making any money.

Google buys them, and Google has money.

Now it's Youtube, but with money to sue them for. Google buying them just upped the risk factor considerably. Google has quite a few brainy folks on their side, I'm sure they saw the lawsuits coming. So I'm wondering, what's the plan they have in store for this contingency, because there's no way they would've gone into this without a plan...right?

Please?

Spoiling for a fight (5, Interesting)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332675)

Google has been spoiling for a fight over the DMCA safe-harbor provisions for some time now. Their book search and regular search business depends heavily on that part of the DMCA's enforceability. Without it, the Prodigy and Napster decisions could be used to annihilate Google and every other modern search engine.

Its far better for Google to explore the ramifications via a subsidiary company that can be cut loose to die if need be.

Re:I predicted this a while ago (2, Interesting)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332451)

Viacom wants to license their content to Google to show on YouTube. Viacom tried to negotiate with Google to get this done, but felt that Google's response (whatever it was) was unsatisfactory. Now, Viacom is taking the next logical step.

YouTube is going to take the same path as Napster did: it will be sued into oblivion (or maybe settle for however many hundreds of millions of dollars), and come back as a for-pay service, probably by showing clips of licensed shows for free (ad supported) and offering full episode downloads for a price.

Re:I predicted this a while ago (2, Insightful)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332683)

Except that Napstar wasn't run by Google.

I'm not saying that Google is some paragon of virtue, but they have money and lawyers. Good lawyers, ones who can put up a fight. Chances are Viacom is hoping that Google will decide it's better to settle than to fight in court, because any such fight would likely be long and drawn out.

Re:I predicted this a while ago (1, Insightful)

sholden (12227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332659)

Wow you're the guru of predictions. You were only 2 weeks behind the often linked rant [blogmaverick.com] .

Actually, did anyone not predict this?

1. Website blatantly infringes copyright of big media companies, but company has no capital or profits
2. Said company is bought by huge internet company.
3. Website blatantly infringes copyright of big media companies, owner has huge amounts of capital stuffed under the couch
4. ??? No one could predict what goes here ???

It's like software patents, it's so patently (haha) obvious that most other people don't think it's worth mentioning.

Re:I predicted this a while ago (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18332667)

Who the fuck cares what you predict? This was obvious.

Re: Captain Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18332705)

Six months ago, I said this was bound to happen to Google.

Wow. This makes you either incredibly insightful or Captain Obvious.

You want a cookie? (4, Insightful)

Lanoitarus (732808) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332731)

Look, im sorry- I really don't mean to flamebait here. In fact, I really ought to post this as AC just to avoid the karma dock. But Im not going to. Are you really patting yourself on the back for predicting that someone would sue google 6 months ago? Did you miss the hundreds of other analysts, newspapers, and critics that said the same thing? Did you miss how the one of the biggest aspects of the merger being talked about by wall street was the escrow account for copyright issues?

So congratulations, you predicted that google would get sued over YouTube. With insight like that, maybe you could get a job forecasting the weather in LA (today: sunny. tomorrow: sunny...). Or maybe you just wanted to shamelessly link your blog.

Anyway, if anyone needs me, ill be over in the corner modded down to -infinity, flamebait. But at least I wont be claiming to be a genius for predicting that the sun will rise tomorrow morning (REALLY! ITS TRUE, WAIT AND SEE!).

Yes, it was quite predictable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18332751)

The battle had to happen sooner or later. Now it will be interesting to see how it turns out, especially since YouTube has "Safe Harbor" protections under the DMCA and has been honoring all take-down notices and identification requests as required by the DMCA.

Basically, if Viacom wins, then the court will be striking down the same portions of the DMCA that protect ISP's from these same charges.

Great! (3, Insightful)

growse (928427) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332187)

Either:

They'll settle, and millions of companies will line up to sue Google.

or....

Google will do an IBM/SCO on their ass and bankrupt them.

Place your bets!

Re:Great! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18332245)

I bet... Yogurt!

My bet (1)

Lord Lemur (993283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332259)

I bet Viacom will be aquired. Google made a comment awhile back about making in house content. This would solve that problem and save some lawyer fees, oh an a Billion Dollars.

No kidding... (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332331)

For a billion dollars, it's much cheaper to just buy Viacom....
Makes it sound like Viacom just shot themselves in the foot, but it makes sense. If it's going to cost a billion to stay in business, just by them out!

Re:No kidding... (1)

igb (28052) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332663)

For a billion dollars, it's much cheaper to just buy Viacom....
``Much cheaper'' in the sense of ``twenty five times more expensive''. Viacom's market cap is about 25 billion. To carry out a hostile take-over, which is what you're suggesting, would cost thirty five million or more.

Re:Great! (4, Interesting)

taskforce (866056) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332317)

Google may be rich, but they are nowhere near big enough to bankrupt Viacom. Viacom has a revenue of over $9.6 Billion USD, whilst Google has $10.6 Billion (according to Wikipedia), but this isn't the case of a smaller firm trying to sue a giant. If anything, Viacom, as a conglomerate, will probably have greater cash reserve and certainly has more assets which can be sold off in the event of it needing more cash.

If you read the complaint ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18332569)

If you read the complaint ... Viacom claims that Viacom represents "one of the most important sectors of the US economy." Fuck Viacom; they're a bunch of folks who are getting rich creating the misery of others.

Re:If you read the complaint ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18332613)

Which you hate and would never ever buy, although your iPod just happens to be full of their properties which you download frequently. Am I right?

Just numbers relevant to "IBM/SCO on their ass" (5, Insightful)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332373)

GOOG: Mkt Cap: 139.97B
VIA: Mkt Cap: 27.71B

IBM: Mkt Cap: 141.50B
SCOX: Mkt Cap: 21.23M

Re:Just numbers relevant to "IBM/SCO on their ass" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18332453)

Not sure I can think of a number less relevant than market cap, actually...

Re:Just numbers relevant to "IBM/SCO on their ass" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18332707)

Ponies?

Re:Great! (1)

loid_void (740416) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332463)

Actually, You Tube's business model is based on un-copyrighted material. Viacom has more to loose in the long run than a measly billion dollars as they don't understand the advertising model of the future: ie, they get free advertising. The other networks have figured this out and have joined the party. I place my bet on You Tube.

Re:Great! (4, Insightful)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332727)

Viacom, like other media companies, is mostly worried about two things: (1) losing control of the distribution of their product, and (2) losing control of distribution, period. The first concern is legitimate, but can easily be remedied by Google simply by not allowing Viacom's property to be posted to the site. The second concern has more to do with the fear of the rise of competitive distribution channels, and that exists even if these channels don't deal in copyrighted material. There is a finite pie of ear- and eyeball-hours out there, and if 30% of them are ever drawn to Creative Commons type stuff, that's 30% that isn't paying Viacom.

Re:Great! (5, Insightful)

Otter Escaping North (945051) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332561)

Either:
They'll settle, and millions of companies will line up to sue Google.
or....
Google will do an IBM/SCO on their ass and bankrupt them.

Missing option. ;>

This is a negotiation tactic being used to drive licensing talks that are going on behind the scene. My money's on that one.

Re:Great! (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332611)

You've got my vote.
That or acquisition talks, but I think licensing is more likely (though it could lead to acquisition in the future, it often does when the licenses are wholesale like this).
-nB

Re:Great! (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332579)

3) They'll settle out of court, and it won't affect other companies.

Pfft, meaningless from the start... (2, Funny)

mixonic (186166) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332189)

1 Billion bucks? Could you _please_ pick a number that is at least related to what you're suing over?

Austin Powers (5, Funny)

omega9 (138280) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332203)

Why ask for one BILLION dollars, when you can ask for ONE MILLION DOLLARS?!?! MUHAHAHAHAhahahaha...ha..aha..*ahem*.

Re:Austin Powers (1)

icedivr (168266) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332357)

Because a BILLION is the new MILLION!

Re:Austin Powers (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332391)

Google should just be grateful that they weren't sued in Britain...

Re:Austin Powers (1)

stirbu (757975) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332601)

A brazillion ought to be enough for everyone

gagillion, fafillion, shabolubalu million (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18332745)

Or in "Goldmember", Dr. Evil demands

"One billion, gagillion, fafillion, shabolubalu million illion yillion...yen. ..."

(Or something like that)

Why stop there? (5, Funny)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332205)

They should go for a zillion-gabillion dollars!

Lawsuits should always be based on nice round numbers, not actual proven damages.

Re:Why stop there? (1)

monkeydo (173558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332571)

I doubt they are suing for a nice round number, and I'm sure whatever number it is, they have a basis for it. The press release simply says, "More than a billion dollars." Because press releases need to use round numbers. And whatever they are actually awarded if they win won't necessarily be based on what's alleged in the complaint, it will be based on whatever damages the jury or court finds they are entitled to.

Timing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18332217)

Why didn't they sue before Google bought YouTube? These money hungry companies needs to be put down for good!

Re:Timing (1)

shadow349 (1034412) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332475)

These money hungry companies needs to be put down for good!

Hear, hear!

It's good to see that someone is finally stepping up and giving the Old Yeller treatment to Google.

Re:Timing (1)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332503)

As Steve Dallas would say: never sue poor people.

Why sue YouTube when they had no money to collect? Sue them after they get acquired by a company that you know has lots and lots of cash, so you might actually have a chance of collecting a judgment.

Pretty simple, actually (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332629)

Why didn't they sue before Google bought YouTube?


Because the original YouTube didn't have much of a money-making model, and certainly not one tied to the actual content played, while Google can actually match ads to it. E.g., if you search for videos about cooking, they can try to sell you a cookbook. (Well, at least in an ideal world where that keyword matching actually worked, and people actually set the right keywords.) So in a sense, now Google's income actually depends on covering the whole content spectrum. Any niche they don't have covered, is a niche they can't serve you ads for. I.e., in a sense, Google actually makes a little money out of helping share all that pirated content.

And that can make quite a bit of a difference for a lot of people. Using their IP can be anywhere between ok and an irritation for most people, but they'll turn outright hostile if you make money out of unauthorized use of their IP. E.g., chances are noone will go after you if you use someone's characters for a little fan story, but they'll turn very hostile if you proceed to print your fan stories as a book and sell it. E.g., Blizzard won't come after you if you just use WoW to make a silly music clip, but if you proceeded to use those as ads for your own products or sell DVDs with them, chances are they'd want their share.

Note that in all the above I'm not debating whether IP is right or wrong, or whether it should exist, or whatever. Just the way it works atm.

Insert Dr. Evil Quote Here (1)

SatireWolf (1050450) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332219)

If it wasn't for the fact that Viacom think's that Google actually HAS 1 BILLLIOOONNNNN.... dollars to spare, they wouldn't be threatening them with the FRIEGEN LASER MAN! Ok, so they're just 100 times more EVIL than Dr. Evil.

Re:Insert Dr. Evil Quote Here (1)

SatireWolf (1050450) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332355)

Darn, someone got there first!

Re:Insert Dr. Evil Quote Here (1)

twitchingbug (701187) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332363)

Actaully they do have a billion to spare...

http://finance.google.com/finance?fstype=bi&cid=69 4653 [google.com]

I'm not an expert reading balance sheets, but under Cash & Equivalents - 3.5 billion dollars. Maybe Equivalents mean something else.

All new... (2, Insightful)

Jerry Coffin (824726) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332241)

It's truly amazing how the fact that YouTube is now owned by a company with billions of dollars suddenly means that all the content is pirated. Apparently, before Google bought them, not a single clip was even slightly shady, but ever since they started to represent billions of dollars, every clip that's ever been shown is worthy of at least one lawsuit!

Re:All new... (1)

_PimpDaddy7_ (415866) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332329)

Maybe the media companies were WAITING for YouTube to be bought by someone with $$$ so they could eventually sue?

Chuckle (2, Interesting)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332243)

From the article:

In a statement, Viacom lashed out at YouTube's business practices, saying it 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."

Isn't that what Viacom does for a living? It isn't people at Viacom writing and producing all this content -- it's the hard-working staffs of these shows, coming up with ideas, generating scripts, acting them out, putting them on tape/film. Viacom just sits there, puts them in the marketplace, and rakes in the advertising money.

Re:Chuckle (4, Insightful)

growse (928427) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332353)

Not wanting to defent Viacom, but I'm sure they'll be fairly keen to point out that they actually pay their staff...

Re:Chuckle (2, Insightful)

conradov (1026760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332425)

I didn't know YouTube was a lucrative business!

Re:Chuckle (1)

GiovanniZero (1006365) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332449)

Whereas YouTube sits around producing content all day and gives all their ad money to the users!

errr...wait...but then again they're also not suing anyone.

Re:Chuckle (1)

Anomolous Cowturd (190524) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332669)

Free unlimited hosting for video content is more than enough compensation... let's not pretend gootube gives nothing back.

One Biiiilllllion Dollars! (-1, Redundant)

viper21 (16860) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332257)

I bet they have a frickin' lazer beam to back this one up.

Where is Mini Me!

looks good on them! (3, Insightful)

boxlight (928484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332263)

I'll probably get modded down for this, but I don't think it's right that Google is allowed to generate all that eyeball-driven advertising revenue by broadcasting other people's copyrighted video content.

I like free video as much as the next guy, but people *own* this stuff. And Google does not.

The billion dollar lawsuit looks good on them.

Re:looks good on them! (1, Interesting)

Beer_Smurf (700116) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332499)

I don't think it's fair that Viacom programming gets all the free advertising on YouTube's bandwidth.

Re:looks good on them! (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332505)

Although I think 1 Billion is a little steep, I think you are right. I don't think that a TV network would last 2 minutes if they just decided to play content that they hadn't paid for. I don't see why Google should be treated any differently. Just because they're on the internet, doesn't give them the right to just broadcast whatever they want.

Re:looks good on them! (1)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332593)

I agree completely. Lovers of free video have options. I'd like to see more of them produce their own content that is slick enough to generate huge demand for that video and then release it for free on YouTube.

That is more compelling than sitting in their parent's basement and whining for free access to the content Viacom has created.

Two questions: (1)

mdobossy (674488) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332275)

All of these lawsuits/stupid moves by the various AAs going on look to me like the final death throws of a star about to supernova.. So using that dumb analogy, two questions:

1) How long until the entire media industry implodes due to their short-sightedness and inability to embrace new technology?

2) In the ensuing implosion/explosion, how many consumers and even businesses will the media industry bring down with them?

Re:Two questions: (0, Flamebait)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332479)

3) How long before you learn how to spell "throes"?

Re:Two questions: (1)

mdobossy (674488) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332699)

That one I can answer.

About 8 minutes.

About Time! (1)

kad77 (805601) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332281)

Viacom publicly whining about the sorry state of MTV and similar holdings (Carlos Mencia!) and trying to burst the profitability Bubble 2.0 at the same time!

Cheers to them! But where will I find my favorite Al Qaeda training videos now?

Good, no more youtube and/or no more viacom (1, Interesting)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332287)

A win win.

Personally I'm really tired of Youtube. It's all that is wrong with insta-fame types. Though seeing people hurt themselves just to make it big on the intertubes is amusing...

And well, programming on TV hasn't really enthralled me since, well ever. The tired cliche shows may amuse the masses, good for them, but not anyone capable of doing a little thinking on their own.

Tom

Yeah, well.. (1)

KeepQuiet (992584) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332295)

Who didn't see this coming? PS: I am waiting Mark Cuban's fireworks show for celebration :)

Viacom Demands YouTube Return Viewers (4, Funny)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332303)

Once again, life imitates parody [theonion.com] . I did not know they were worth a billion dollars.

I predict... (1)

Nonillion (266505) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332305)

That this will be as productive as th 1.25 trillion dollar lawsuit that the RIAA has filed over allofmp3.com

Hmmm... (3, Funny)

richdun (672214) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332321)

(as of about the time I posted this)

Google's market cap: $139.97 billion

Viacom's market cap: $27.61 billion
CBS' market cap: $24.38 billion (sorta kinda relevent here)

I think it's just a little market cap envy. Next stop: Google buys Viacom?

Out of Court settlement (2, Insightful)

CSHARP123 (904951) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332365)

This copyright violation is going on with YouTube since before google acquired them. Why didn't Viacom act at that point in time and close the website. Since google has the money and I think this will be setteled out of court by google giving them some money to get away. In the future we can see some big payday for Viacom

If I were Google, I might just pay it. (3, Funny)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332367)

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.


Google: "No shit. Here's your billion, we've got a couple more to spare. Muh-huh-huh-ha."

Re:If I were Google, I might just pay it. (1)

kad77 (805601) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332469)

Google: "No shit. Here's your billion, we've got a couple more to spare. Muh-huh-huh-ha."

Probably one of many reasons you will never have even a million dollars.

Re:If I were Google, I might just pay it. (1)

svendsen (1029716) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332655)

Until you have 10 companies each sure for a billion after google pays out. And that will cover all content up to the point of the lawsuit. Next year when they have content they shouldn't have up all the companies will be back. How long could google last with constant lawsuits?

How long will youtube last when all the commercial stuff goes away?

Google and copyright (1)

john83 (923470) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332385)

Google has been skirting on the edge on copyright law for a while now, especially with Google Books (which I can't imagine is actually legal, but is moral IMO). Can they win this? I don't see grounds for defense. On the other hand, how is that figure justified?

Here's the PDF of the actual complaint ... (4, Informative)

xmas2003 (739875) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332387)

What the (4, Insightful)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332395)

Don't Viacom know that their precious DMCA protects Google?

Re:What the (5, Informative)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332687)

Probably. And it appears to have been part of the intent of the DMCA. However the act was pretty badly drafted, and part of it does depend on whether Google is directly profitting from the infringement.

Of course, in Youtube's favour, is the fact that the service clearly isn't intended as a vehicle for copyright infringement. Most of the material there is actually the home video stuff that the site is intended for, and they are making efforts to remove the material immediately.

copyright doesn't scale (1)

m1ndrape (971736) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332399)

maybe google wants this to happen, think about it, if it's the copyright holder's responsibility to enforce and protect their copyright, at a massive scale with youtube, then the amount of money it would take to enforce their copyright would exceed their revenue generated from it.

haha (1)

wwmedia (950346) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332441)

how do i add "haha" to the taggin yoke? damned web2.0

Common carrier (4, Insightful)

Anon-Admin (443764) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332457)

(IANAL) I look at this and wonder is google will use the common carrier clause. By not monitoring and policing the content of the users they could well fall under the common carrier clause. This would mean that as a common carrier, they are not responsible for the content that is on there network. The end users would be responsible.

I have worked at and run many ISP's, The lawyers ALWAYS insistent that any news feed be uncensored because the act of censoring or deleting any of the content could be used in court to show that we agreed with the content that remained. Thus we could be sewed for any illegal content that we missed.

Just my .02c worth

Re:Common carrier (1)

svendsen (1029716) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332583)

IANAL either but common carrier would, to me, seem to apply to things which deliver the information/voice/data and not apply to a website which stores the actual info. If youtube goes away the common carrier (Isp's for example) can still deliver information.

But hey, like usual, I am probably wrong

old media logic (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332507)

old media fails it

when linking to content, hosting content, etc., you generate buzz, hits, pr, etc.

in other words, the more content you get out there, the cheaper you get it out there (hint: free), the more money you make: more traffic, more ad revenue, more awareness

this is the future, and old media doesn't get it. by putting traffic stops at the doors to their content, by micromanaging who seems what and when, you don't preserve your revenue streams, you kill them by making getting to them too obscure and/ or difficult

the guys who grew up on radio and television as their model just. don't. get. it.

Hypocrisy, thy name is Viacom. (2, Interesting)

trudyscousin (258684) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332527)

In a statement, Viacom lashed out at YouTube's business practices, saying it 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."

But of course, Viacom would never, ever go after the fans, would they?

Understandable. (3, Insightful)

Erwos (553607) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332575)

I can understand Viacom's position here, and I don't think it's totally unjustified. That's not the same as "I totally agree with it", mind you, but I see where they're coming from. Google is using their copyrighted works to make money, and doing so without permission. Did said works get uploaded by others? Yes - but does this somehow absolve Google of wrong-doing?

I think that last question is what's going to need to be answered legislatively and judicially over the next decade. It seems wrong that Google is profiting off Viacom's work without permission or license, yet more restrictions will hinder the development of some technologies (ala some of the proposed remedies to mass copyright infringement via P2P). This, of course, assumes there is not some sort of drastic change in how copyright is handled - which I'm sure is the solution many Slashdotters would prefer, but doesn't strike me as terribly likely in the current legislative climate.

Bound to happen (2, Funny)

Azathfeld (725855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332589)

If they didn't sue over this, Viacom was going to sue Google over the defamation inherent in their "don't be evil" motto. They still face possible pending charges under that from the RIAA; SCO; Microsoft; Halliburton; the Republican party; Al Qaeda; Dr. Evil, natch; and, oddly, Bono of U2 fame.

Viacom does not have a case (1)

Chemkook (915402) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332633)


AFAIK,
you can only sue for proven lost revenues,
and the most you can get from Google is the proven profits
generated from the advertising on the site.
(IMO, their stuff is not worth what they are suing for)

YouTube is just too convenient.
If you really want to watch their stuff, ust get a Tivo.
(or build your own using opensource software)

Anyone remember IcraveTV ?

Thoughts of copyright change (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332635)

This is interesting. How much do we all use YouTube. With computers the way that they are, we all can take video from the TV and make it what we want on the web. Computers have made it so Intellectual property as such is changeling. I guess I don't have a problem with an industry not making a lot of money over things that we could all make. The difference will come down to quality not quantity finally. I have thought that Hollywood was "Making another one!" Think about it, how many teen movies, or scary movies have there? Another teen movie, epic movie? Do we really need another? Yes it does supply mild entertainment, but we are smart enough to entertain ourselves. We have been given the tools and the masses say they like them. If you read the article Viacom is the only one who wants to sue. Not sure where copy rights are going, but they are changing. All thanks to a little thing called computers. IMHO reality TV was the first step. Once the people at the big business learned they could make millions on a few people and only pay one of them; Survivor; that was the breaking of the dam. It is a small wonder that we the people have done the opposite of them.

Point of interest (1)

styryx (952942) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332641)

If Wikipedia cannot be sued [slashdot.org] then how can Google?

IANAL; but to a layman the cases seem equivalent.

Question (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332665)

First of all let me start of by saying I think that this entire thing is stupid, and is purely out of greed and has nothing to do with some great goal of protecting ones work, but since that's not going to change, I have a question:

If Google pay's that fee, which seems quite large, does that give then retroactive ownsership of all Viacom material?

Revver.com checks (1)

sweetser (148397) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332689)

Hello:

I've posted clips from TheStandUpPhysicist.com, the education arm of my unified gravity and EM field theory using quaternions. I got a nice OK from YouTube, no questions. At Revver, they said thanks, but are you sure you have permission to use that song? It was "Math Prof Rock Star" by Jim's Big Ego, a perfect tune for the most nerdly narrowcast theoretical physics show ever. The song is licenced under the creative commons license attributions, non-comercial, share-alike license. Hoping to make billions off of the shows, I had negociated with JBE's business manager, and had agreed they get a percentage.

I told the revver folks that story. Sorry, that wasn't good enough. They wanted to see either the contract or get an email from JBE. A few emails later, and the clips are up on Revver.com. So I think revver.com is investing time and money in the process of due dilegence on copyrights.

Revver is better, they share the wealth.

doug
TheStandUpPhysicist.com

supply and demand (4, Insightful)

chinard (555270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332711)

its all about availability of content.

Viacom is doing NOTHING to make this content as available as it has become in youtube.
Maybe if they did, and put in their own advertising, they'd be making the ad dollars off this content instead of loosing it to youtube.

proactive = shackle people (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#18332713)

to the extent that you control everything so that they cant do anything you dont want.

this is what proactive is.

viacom can shove their intellectual property up their arses - as long as they have that 'control people so that we can squeeze as much money from them' philosophy, they are going to be pirated.
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