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Viacom vs. YouTube - Whose Side Are You On?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the i-vote-for-adam-ant dept.

The Internet 353

DigitalDame2 writes "Lance Ulanoff of PCMag believes that the Viacom and YouTube lawsuit is a bad idea because it has the potential to damage the burgeoning online video business; instead, it could work with the millions of people who are currently viewing Viacom content on YouTube. On the other side, Jim Louderback, an editor-in-chief of PCMag says that Lance doesn't know what he's talking about: with all the content available online for free, Viacom can kiss those investments goodbye. YouTube is actively filtering, actively allowing uploads, and making money off of the content that's been uploaded. The courts will find that Viacom has been wronged, that Google has not done enough to protect the rights of copyright holders, and that Google owes Viacom reparations. Whose side are you on?"

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duh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18368075)


somewhere between! (5, Insightful)

DriveDog (822962) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368083)

Success by Viacom in getting commercial stuff removed but no major fees rewarded would be perfect... less commercial stuff on YouTube.

That's like asking... (0, Flamebait)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368299)

...if you're going for the Nazi's or the Allies

Re:That's like asking... (3, Insightful)

teh_chrizzle (963897) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368587)

that's an excellent point... whom in your opinion would the allies be?

Viacom is misguided (2, Interesting)

Cracked Pottery (947450) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368335)

They are pulling damage figures out of their ass. If anything the appearance on YouTube increases the appreciation of their programming. Naturally they would like to like to stream them through their own advertiser supported network. Damages should not be an issue, just copyright honoring.

Re:Viacom is misguided (3, Insightful)

teh_chrizzle (963897) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368725)

They are pulling damage figures out of their ass.

and just where else would you pull estimated damages for unauthorized sharing from?

everyone in the intellectual property business pulls damages out of thier ass... that's standard operating procedure. the IP business is about selling stuff that doesn't really exist... it's stuff you pull it out of your ass and sell to other people. clearly, if someone distributes your imaginary product without your authorization, you can sue them for all of the imaginary sales that you have lost out on. as long as we are working in the realm of the imagination, you might as well imagine big and try to jack google for a billion dollars.

Re:somewhere between! (4, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368479)

I'm tired of companies getting rich off of questionable or illegal practices and then, once they have a massive userbase, suddenly selling out to someone to go legit. It's what the original youtube did. It's what Napster did. Imagine if I started up a car dealership and instead of paying for my own cars to stock my dealership, I went down the street and stole them from my competition. Then I sold those and once I had sold enough of these stolen cars, I had enough customers and money and attention that I could afford to go legit.

It's even worse than companies like Worldcom that can completely screw people over and break every law on the books, fire one guy and just keep on doing business as usual. So the moral of the story is that it's wrong for you or me to "steal" and justify it with "fair use", but it's okay to do it if you're a corporation or are being eyed by hungry corporations.

Your analogy does not fit at all. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18368645)

Nice trick with the misleading "stealing cars" analogy. The problem is, nothing is stolen by Youtube. You might want to think about things a little bit before you make up analogies that have nothing to do with anything.

Well Exactly! (5, Insightful)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368583)

I agree. It's not a simple either/or question. Does Viacom have a right to protect its copyrights? Yes! Is one billion dollars in damages sensible, sane, or in any way indicative of the damage to Viacom's earnings? Absolutely not. I mean they could protect their copyrights with a simple injunction and a token payment to cover legal fees. But no, they've got to go all SCO and look for a billion dollar settlement.

And for that sort of money, you have to suspect that they're after more than just getting their stuff removed. I don't know whether it's just greed, dislike of Google or that they want to destroy YouTube. But I have to say that I don't really care.

As far as I'm concerned, Viacom's IP isn't worth one billion dollars of anyone's money and for them to win would be a serious miscarriage of justice. IMHO, YMMV and IANAL; but if TFA wants to know who's side I'm on, then that's who, and that's why.

Now if Viacom want to drop the amount they're suing for to something that makes sense in this parallel universe, then I might change my mind. Otherwise, Go Google!

Viacom is right, google is wrong (4, Interesting)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368087)

Just because we like google doesn't mean they aren't wrong.

If I were to run a public ftp, and let people upload all sorts of copyrighted crap, I'm liable - wether I knew they uploaded it or not. Theres plenty of precedence there, people have been burned for "pubs" on their hardware, that they had no knowledge of.

Why should google be above the law, just because they're a /. fave?

Youtube doesn't have the right to host whole tv shows, movies, etc.

Then YouTube turns around to sue a website for copyright infrigement, for allowing you to download the YouTube content - that they don't even own.

I hate youtube. I hate google even more for their involvement of it. It's napster jr, plain and simple, and it'll be shut down.

Re:Viacom is right, google is wrong (5, Insightful)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368171)

It's very simple: we like the content, we want everything for free, therefore copyright is evil. The justifications come after the fact.

I hate the RIAA and MPAA as much as anyone, and I think the DRM schemes are a pretty cynical attempt at lock-in and control, but this is pretty clear cut: it's Viacom's stuff that Viacom's advertisers pay Viacom to distribute, and Youtube is cutting them out completely. This is the blatant stuff that makes them push for things like broadcast flags and DRM from end to end.

Re:Viacom is right, google is wrong (5, Insightful)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368211)

>>>"it's Viacom's stuff"

If they don't want people to see it, don't broadcast it in the first place.

If they want to control it properly, have could big rooms that seat maybe 100 people, and with large screens. Oh put them in public places where you can pay an 'admission' fee. You might want to serve food in the foyer as I tend to get hungry. Perhaps Popcorn.

Re:Viacom is right, google is wrong (4, Insightful)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368293)

Took less than five minutes for justification #1. Any more takers?

Re:Viacom is right, google is wrong (1)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368615)

I couldn't care less about youtube. But I think that copyright is simply wrong.

In the current system I can't see why it is more then five years (life +75? (life +50 in Australia, I can legally copy George Orwell's books) WTF?), and in a perfect system, it wouldn't not exit.

OK, so copyright is intended to motivate creativity. The government provides an artificial monopoly on an intangible product. Fine so far (well... see the perfect system reference above). It is a limited monopoly (fair use and limited time). But why should a corporation (or anyone) own the rights to something after a person is dead (long after ...)? How is that promoting the creation of creative works?

OK, that doesn't really have much to do with the case at hand, but I don't believe in copyright anyway. And I hardly need to justify it to you (it would take to long to explain anyway).

Re:Viacom is right, google is wrong CLEAR TO ME (5, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368765)

but this is pretty clear cut

What's clear to me is that, if they could, Viacom and the rest of the industry would like to charge you every single time you ever watched a piece of their content. They haven't managed to yet devise a successful system to accomplish this (remember DIVX DVD's, or RCA SelectVision videodiscs that actually wore out on use), but they have never given up on this dream. And these kind of lawsuits are just more small steps along the path to the Utopia of having full control over every second of music, and every frame of film forever.

Re:Viacom is right, google is wrong (5, Interesting)

omeomi (675045) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368197)

If I were to run a public ftp, and let people upload all sorts of copyrighted crap, I'm liable - wether I knew they uploaded it or not. Theres plenty of precedence there, people have been burned for "pubs" on their hardware, that they had no knowledge of.

Actually, from what I understand (and IINAL), Section 512(c) of the DMCA includes a "safe harbor" provision that basically says that Google isn't liable unless they refuse to take down material that they have been told to remove by the copyright holder. For better or for worse, right now it's up to Viacom to check for their own content on YouTube, and alert Google when they find it.

Re:Viacom is right, google is wrong (4, Interesting)

Curtman (556920) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368223)

If I were to run a public ftp, and let people upload all sorts of copyrighted crap, I'm liable - wether I knew they uploaded it or not. Theres plenty of precedence there, people have been burned for "pubs" on their hardware, that they had no knowledge of.

And how is it that usenet has survived all these years? Some time ago it stopped being a place for geeks to chat, and got jam packed full of kiddie porn, pirated video, and warez.

My ISP has a usenet server, my University (funded by public tax dollars) has a usenet server, etc, etc. Not one lawsuit that I've ever heard of.

Re:Viacom is right, google is wrong (5, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368543)

I have no idea how usenet slipped under the radar so long. IRC + private ftps have been left alone too. Maybe it's just so geeky and obscure, and just doesn't do the volume to alarm the big guys - where napster and youtube do? I do know that in some cases posters have been tracked down and sued (stupid ones who let themselves be ID'd).

I also know there's a couple dudes that hang out in front of the 7-11 a block away, and I know they sell crack, I've seen them do it with my own eyes. I also know the cops must know, but they haven't done anything about it. Maybe they got bigger fish to fry? Maybe they've just given up on 'da hood'. Maybe their building a case against a higher-up and dont want to rock the boat?

Whatever the case, it doesnt mean it's okay to sell crack.

Google is right, Viacom is wrong (1)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368285)

The fact that youtube is making a concerted effort to remove that content shows good faith. The fact that youtube needs the protection of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (probably moreso than any other online provider)...

which offers some protection to sites that do not necessarily control the content their customers are posting and, more important, do not know what's being added to their sites. Viacom says YouTube knows. I say Viacom is shooting itself in the foot.
...and that Viacom itself has been shown to be tagging youtube material like that "Steakhouse" home video some slashdotter linked to from a journal entry a while ago.

Lance is right - Viacom is shooting themself in the foot here. What do you expect googletube to do? Viacom themself can't identify their own material properly. What judge wouldn't take that into account? I reckon (a compromise) by some change to googletubes upload policy will help settle this out of court.

bitter much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18368287)

"Then YouTube turns around to sue a website for copyright infrigement, for allowing you to download the YouTube content - that they don't even own."

Lemme guess, you used to be the owner/member of said website that got owned by google? I remember several sites that would hotlink to youtube content and then place all of their own ads around the youtube video, before youtube stopped them.

Google's unbelievable stupidity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18368563)

They must have known this was coming, yet bought YouTube anyway. What were they thinking? I could not understand why they bought them at the time, as this was so obviously going to be the result. How will this benefit Google? I must be missing something, or perhaps the folks at Google just aren't as clever as I thought they were. There's got to be something we don't know. Perhaps Viacom interests have concealed control of Google?

Re:Viacom is right, google is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18368703)

I tend to agree with what you're saying. But I don't know if Google really could have done much to stop this from happening. Considering how many thousands of new videos are uploaded every hour, it would be impossible for staff members to inspect each one for traces of copyrighted material. And if people didn't have the ability to upload videos and have them instantly available, YouTube wouldn't be anywhere near as popular or useful as it is now. Quite simply, so long as you allow users to post their own material, it's going to be difficult to make sure that copyrighted work doesn't make its way onto your servers. Some forums have avoided responsibility for their members' posts (if memory serves), and YouTube is really no different. Both collaborative services are moderated, but you can never keep up with the rate at which people post new content on a popular site.

I think the best idea would be to make the YouTube member who posted the material responsible for it. Google can tell Viacom which IP posted the work, that IP can be traced back to an ISP, and then the individual who owns the account on YouTube can be sued by both Viacom and Google for breaching copyright law *and* the YouTube membership agreement.

Napster (0, Redundant)

biocute (936687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368095)

Well, if Napster can be nailed, a site that actually hosts illegal copyright materials shouldn't be able to escape so easily.

I would be more interested in knowing if Google has jumped the shark?

Re:Napster (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18368229)

I would be more interested in knowing if Google has jumped the shark?

In my opinion, the series went downhill when Yahoo got pregnant and they killed off Lycos.

Shark Jumping (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368521)

I would be more interested in knowing if Google has jumped the shark?

Google is (for me) first and foremost a search engine, quick loading and accurate. Secondly, it is a source of maps. As long as Google does those two things, it will never need to jump a shark to hold my interest. I don't use it for email, or document processing, or video, or any of the dozen+ secondary functions that Google offers (except for the unit conversion/calculator tool, but that's integrated into the search).

Re:Shark Jumping (1)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368667)

Pretty much for me also. Except I just use the search (and sometimes News, but that is basically an extension of search).

I use Yahoo (and others) for email (two accounts from 1998 and 1999), and Abiword for document processing and so on.

I "need" Yahoo to exist (for the two mentioned email accounts), but I don't need Google. They provide a nice search engine that is fairly accurate, but I'm thinking about moving to Yahoo. Why? I've been moving around a bit recently, Sweden, Switzerland. But I only speak (and read) English. And the Firefox search bar defaults to which directs you to a country based Google. Which is fucking annoying.
(For those who don't know, you can actually modify the search from the address bar to go where you want. So I could use it to goto, but I actually use it for a metasearch. I want to know how the fuck I modify the Search bar search!)

I'm going to put off voting. (2, Funny)

andy314159pi (787550) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368097)

Considering our likely imminent destruction, [] I'm going to refrain from voting until we rebuild civilization.

Just like Napster... (3, Interesting)

John3 (85454) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368105)

YouTube is hosting the material, so ultimately Viacom will win.

Sure, YouTube is a cool idea and users love it, just like Napster was a hit with users. It's the darn content creators who are up in arms.

Re:Just like Napster... (1)

ZombieRoboNinja (905329) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368301)

Except that that's exactly UNlike Napster, which was p2p.

Re:Just like Napster... (1)

John3 (85454) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368453)

Correct...I forgot that Napster was p2p without actually hosting the files. However, both Napster and YouTube ran/run servers that make it easy for users to share copyrighted materials (as opposed to decentralized methods like Bit Torrent).

An my "Just like Napster..." quote was really to express my feeling about the ultimate result, which is the demise of YouTube (with a relaunch in a sanitized Napster). :)

Wrong (2, Interesting)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368485)

Napster got nailed not because they allowed users to share pirated bits. They got nailed because they ADVERTISED that fact. P2P sharing is not illegal. Setting up a service that advertises and knowingly facilitates pirating IS. YouTube is not advertised as a place to go for pirated videos, it is advertised as a place for individuals to post videos, and they are actively working to prevent permitted copy written material from appearing.

If that distinction does not hold up in court (or if a deal is not worked out prior to judgment) then it could set up a dangerous precedent that would likely soon lead to the RIAA going after P2P networks, open FTP servers, IRC servers, Usenet, etc... instead of individuals.


pleh, type-o (2, Informative)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368503)

"...working to prevent permitted copy written material from appearing"

should read

"...working to prevent unpermitted copy written material from appearing"

Makes a little more sense that way.


Re:Just like Napster... (1)

markbt73 (1032962) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368767)

It's the darn content creators who are up in arms.

Not quite. It's the content rights-holders who are up in arms, and most of them couldn't create content if their lives depended on it.

All we're showing with the success of p2p networks and YouTube is that we don't need middlemen anymore. They're just dying really hard.

Hmm. Hom. Hoom. (5, Insightful)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368109)

>Whose side are you on?

Treebeard: "I am on no one's side, because nobody is on my side."

Re:Hmm. Hom. Hoom. (1)

andy314159pi (787550) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368149)

lol great post

Viacom? (1, Insightful)

partenon (749418) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368115)

This one is simple: Viacom. They don't need to sue for 1 bilion, but YouTube needs more reviewers (or improve their copyright protection). Viacom certainly spent a few bucks on producing these TV shows. They can't simply give it away for free. It is *their* products, and *they* decide where it can or can't be redistributed.

Re:Viacom? (5, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368361)

I don't know... all Google has to do is trot out Viacom's screwups like C&Ding a game engine tutorial [] and they can make a pretty good case that Viacom has no clue whatsoever how much of their stuff is on YouTube, and that their claims of massive infringement are massively overstated. Furthermore they can state that if Viacom can't figure out what they own, Google obviously has no chance to figure it out on their own, and therefore must abide by the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA and follow Viacom's takedown notices to the best of their abilities, given the evidence of Viacom's inaccuracies.

Re:Viacom? (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368707)

This one is simple: Viacom. They don't need to sue for 1 bilion, but YouTube needs more reviewers (or improve their copyright protection). Viacom certainly spent a few bucks on producing these TV shows. They can't simply give it away for free. It is *their* products, and *they* decide where it can or can't be redistributed.

Actually, according to subsection (c) of section 512 of the DMCA, providers or any size aren't required to have ANYONE reviewing their sites' content. The only thing required by YouTube is that they promptly disable pages when they get a valid complaint letter.

So the case is obviously that Viacom needs more people searching for their own content.

Re:Viacom? (1)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368755)

Why can't Viacom give away this content for free? Aside from the fact that YouTube content is a horribly compressed, low resolution clip no longer than 15 minutes in length and so it can't really show Viacom's content properly - Viacom already gives their best content away, free, in high definition across the air waves. In fact, before video recorders were available, pretty much everyone got their video content for free... yes people still spent a lot of money to create video content.

Side? What side? (4, Interesting)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368119)

One multinational corporation vs. another multinational corporation. Why should I care? Let 'em slug it out. It's not like video on the Net is going to go anywhere, anyway. Spam is illegal, and he have tons of that. Kiddie porn is illegal, and we have tons of that online. Phishing and all kinds of other scams are illegal, and we have plenty of that. Does anybody think that corporate lawsuit #50,401,432 over online video is going to make any kind of real difference to anybody but the attorneys getting paid?

Re:Side? What side? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18368589)

One multinational corporation vs. another multinational corporation. Why should I care?

This is known as the "I had lasagna" side.

Who's side are we on?! (1)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368129)

Are we posting bets now or something?!?

I've got 3 to 1 on YouTube

Youtube... (1)

nebaz (453974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368131)

IANAL, but I seem to remember a clause in the DMCA that allowed "no-foul" agreements if takedown was immediate if a site was notified that it was hosting copyrighted material, with links to the site given. Is this not the case?

Re:Youtube... (3, Interesting)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368217)

That's pretty much what the DMCA is all about, yes. However, Viacom is alleging bad faith on Youtube's part in that a) they do respond in a timely fashion, b) their material is predominantly infringing, and that c) they are profiting off the infringement. There's some precedents to back all these up, but I don't exactly have legal research resources beyond the intarwebs to cite them for you.

Some of these points are debateable, but the preponderance seems to weigh pretty heavily against Youtube.

Re:Youtube... (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368255)

> a) they do respond in a timely fashion

Should be "they do not respond in a timely fashion" of course. Sigh.

Re:Youtube... (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368309)

Is this not the case?

No, you are correct. Which is why I think YouTube will ultimately win the case. The judge will find that YouTube is a common carrier, and makes every reasonable effort to handle takedowns as they receive them. Viacom will walk away in a fit of rage, and possibly implode on their way out.

With the purchase of YouTube, Google has (3, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368133)

taken the first step needed to be at the forefront of video based entertainment for the next decade or more. Viacom seems to be having second thoughts about upgrading their business model.

YouTube/GooTube will be shown to be innocent of any major issues. Viacom will have to get in the game and change their business model, or watch this particular game at home on tv!

We all understand clearly how the **AA has alienated their customers in no small way. Viacom is trying to do the same thing. While it is not clear what failed in the negotiation stage, it is clear to me that they will lose. It is not Google that puts offending material on the Internet. Remember that Google is hardly the only video sharing site on the Internet.

Viacom's real problem is not Google. Their real problem is that the public at large do not respect copyright as Viacom and others would like to define it. (lets not bring in the real definition at this point) That is to say: The public in general would like to redefine 'fair use' for copyrighted materials, and do so in a way that removes some of the business revenue from Viacom and others.

IMO, Viacom and others will simply have to get used to it, or be part of it if they want to stay in business.

Re:With the purchase of YouTube, Google has (1, Flamebait)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368393)

Their real problem is that the public at large do not respect copyright as Viacom and others would like to define it.

Yes, they do. You don't, and most slashdotters dont, but many people, I'd wager most, do. I know a guy, who I'd describe as typical, who was apprehensive about borrowing a blockbuster tape I'd rented to watch - because he hadnt paid to rent it.

People are not naturally thieves, despite the fact that shoplifting happens every day. Most people - good people - would feel ashamed after walking out of a store, and realizing they forgot to pay for something. Many of them go back to make up the difference. They need no law officer to make them do this, their conscience is enough.

Now of course, we're very left here. So we don't believe in "good" or "evil" or "consciences" or "morality". Everything's relative. Spiderman 2 sucked, therefore I shouldn't pay for it. Britney only has one good song, therefore I shouldnt pay for her CD. It's a bunch of excuses and relativistic bullshit lies.

They recognize that the show they're watching took resources to make, actors and crew were paid, sets were built, locations were rented, make up was done, etc. They feel guilty stealing that. Yes, they feel actual guilt. They feel it is a moral wrong to watch that show for free, when they know it's against the owners wishes.

Yeah, there are assholes who have no problem sneaking in the fire exit at the movie theater. It happens, it doesn't mean movie theatres shouldn't charge admission, and shouldn't prosecute people sneaking in.

Why would "the public" embrace iTunes, when they were so used to getting mp3s free? The public was clamoring way to pay for music online.

"The public" will feel that viacom has been wronged - that google wrongly (and knowingly) allowed their copyrighted content to remain online, because google knew they could profit from it. Google knows they profit more from Daily Show clips than they do from Anne McEmo's video blog.

Re:With the purchase of YouTube, Google has (1)

eratosthene (605331) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368609)

Look, I'm not gonna comment on whether or not file sharing is wrong. But I am reaaaaaaally tired of hearing it compared to shoplifting. When you steal a physical object, you are denying someone else the chance to legally purchase that same object, and it is clear that you are denying profit to the creator of the object. However, when you make a digital copy of something, you are not denying anything from anyone. If I make a copy of your DVD, you still have the physical media. Plus (and this is definitely arguable) I'm not really denying any profit from the content creator, if I never intended to purchase the DVD in the first place. So really, the content creator is just unhappy that someone is consuming their creation for free. I know quite a few artists (granted, they aren't huge media conglomerates) that would be overjoyed at a few extra thousand people liking their work, whether or not they paid for it.

Viacom or YouTube? (1)

phalse phace (454635) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368137)

Depends on who we're suppose to hate today...

Go with YouTube (4, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368145)

10 years ago, the music industry became aware of a little thing called "MP3s". They offered the potential of distributing music through online channels. But rather than embrace it as a new business outlet, fraught with exciting new opportunities and possibilities, the music industry tried to squash it. Before they knew it, Napster was created. So they quashed that. Then GNUTella was created and they could quash that. Then Kazza, and BitTorrent, and Limewire, and so on and so forth.

In the end, the music industry could not put the genie back in the bottle. It was only the introduction of iTunes that saved them from imploding.

I see a lot of parallels here. While YouTube videos may seem like a bad idea for the old distribution models, they are increasing the amount of exposure that many shows are getting. Comedy Central's hosts have been getting more famous by the day, thanks to YouTube, and CBS has managed to promote personalities like Craig Ferguson by releasing videos themselves. I can respect Loudback's position on this, but there's simply no room for stalling the market. The forces in action WILL demand a way, whether YouTube is the vehicle or not. It's better to embrace them than it is to fight them.

If you'll excuse the overused term, it's time to innovate!

Re:Go with YouTube (1)

stubear (130454) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368225)

You're missing, or purposefully ignoring, the fact that a lot of broadcast content is being made available for free on sites like or Comedy Central. iTunes and XBOX Live Marketplace also offer broadcast content for a nominal fee. As I'v been saying for years and years, the culture of copyright reform isn;t about getting content easier, it's all about getting shit for free. I've also been saying for years that music should NOT be distributed via digital files because you are not going to get hi-quality audio and you're likely going to be linked to a specific media player. Lo and behold, iTunes comes out and guess what? if you purchase music from iTunes you have to listen to it on an iPod or go through some convoluted hoops to rip to another format, thus degrading the quality of the audio even further then the already shitty quality Apple sells you. Buy the CD and rip i tto any format you want, learn to like the other non-radio hits you hadn't heard before. Maybe it's just the generation I'm a part of but we grew up loving music and albums, the art, the songs, the bands. That and perhaps the pot helped a little, I don't know.

Re:Go with YouTube (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368231)

So what?

It's up to viacom what to do with their content. It may be in their best interest to put it up on youtube. It may not. It's their choice.

It might be in your best interest to post all your home videos. It might not. But it's up to you, not me, CmdrTaco or even Google.

YouTube made its billions violating copyrights, as did napster. This "user-created" is just hot air, I bet every one of us' first exposure to youtube was watching some commercial productions. We all know that practically all of the vapid "video blogs" are worthless.

Re:Go with YouTube (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368399)

It's up to viacom what to do with their content.

No it's not. It's up to the public what to do with the public's content. It is only by the public's grace, expressed through copyright law, that Viacom has any privilage of distribution of the content it creates at all.

Re:Go with YouTube (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368445)

It's up to viacom what to do with their content.

I agree. Which is why you won't catch me uploading anything that belongs to them. Unfortuantely, not everyone is so observant of copyright law. Which means that many, many, many people will look for outlets through which they can share clips they think are funny or cool; irrespective of the copyrights held by the owners of that content.

Minor amounts of infringement are something that one can protect against. But when it's widespread, it quickly becomes impossible to contain. If it's not YouTube that acts as the vehicle, it will be someone else. So it's better to change your business model to take advantage of the new market forces rather than hiring more (expensive) lawyers.

Ditto (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368273)

The choice is very simple. Why? Well, let's go look at the single justification of copyright in the first place:

"To Promote the Progress of Science and the Useful Arts..."

Well, who's "promoting progress" here? YouTube! Therefore, YouTube is right and Viacom is wrong. QED.

Corporate profits or some fictional "entitlement" for copyright holders are irrelevant bullshit.

Re:Ditto (1)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368757)

Nicely played.

As I said above, in the current system, copyright should not be more then five (5) years.

Lifetime or greater then lifetime copyright does not encourage creativity. (How the fuck does having a life +50 (+75) encourage an author to write more once they are dead? How does it encourage their inheritors? Fucking corporations.)

Re:Go with YouTube (1)

dorath (939402) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368369)

NBC [] also actively posts thier own stuff on YouTube.

Re:Go with YouTube (1)

sylvainsf (1020527) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368691)

Actually much of the copyrighted material IS available for free on comedy central's website. I don't have TV and I regularly watch the Daily Show and Colbert Report on comedy central's site. The problem is that YouTube/Google could very simply filter uploads titled "Colbert Report date/here" or whatever and they aren't because they get so much advertising revenue by REDISTRIBUTING the content. If users are clever and name it something else, that's out of their control, but YouTube/Google hasn't even tried.

Null Concept (2, Interesting)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368153)

"Actively Allowing?"

I'm not sure that's even a valid concept.

Here's my idea.. (1)

CashCarSTAR (548853) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368155)

If any of the infringing material that Viacom claims, are things that are not currently comercially avaialble, Viacom should lose control of 100% of their IP, all released into the public domain.

Viacom were able to profit on our culture. They're not allowed to drop it down the corporate memory hole.

Betting the odds... (2)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368157)

Considering Viacom is a 52 to 1 underdog [] , I'm going to be prudent and pick Google.

Comedy Central (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368165)

Comedy Central is owned by Viacom. Didn't Comedy Central ask YouTube/Google to remove all of their content and they complied? Then they changed their mind and asked them to put it back up. How can Viacom now claim that Google's not complying? Doesn't the Comedy Central incident prove otherwise, or am I missing something?

If you ask me... (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368173)

After several years of constant hype about how Google employees are the smartestest people in the world (because they make, y'know, some nice, not-quite-finished Javascript apps) and how free lunch and other perks provided by the bestest managers in the world make those employees even smarterer...!

It's reassuring to see how poorly they thought through this YouTube thing instead of getting their ducks in a row beforehand. the content providers, though, are exactly as shortsighted as one would have thought.

Schadenfraude, anyone? (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368355)

Yeah, Google is SOOOO stupid they didn't se this coming, when everyone and his retarded sister was publishing pieces on it.


Google has a plan, and it's a feasible one, and you are just pissed off because you're not bright enough to figure it out, much less work at Google.

Re:Schadenfraude, anyone? (1)

SeattleGameboy (641456) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368591)

Nobody ever plans for a $1 billion lawsuit against them.

I don't care how rich the company is.

Re:Schadenfraude, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18368719)

You do if you know you can win.

In which case it wouldn't matter if you were sued for a hojillion billion dollars.

Re:If you ask me... (1)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368419)

Google might have done this on purpose. If they play their cards right it could change everything, and to Google's advantage.

YouTube, please (1)

DemonWeeping (849974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368185)

I think that it is up to the copyright holder to defend the copyright lest lose it. This is how it has always been with intellectual property. Why do you think Asprin is the general name for acaetasalacitic acid?

I had a 10 second video of myself juggling on TV, with two seconds of that being Dave Attel mocking me. Because it was on Insomniac, Youtube pulled my video without even asking me if I had rights to post it. There seems to be no way to dispute this.

Re:YouTube, please (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18368425)

Check out this video: []

Short of it is if your video was unjustly taken down because of Viacom, then the EFF wants to hear from you. Sounds like you'd be a great case.

YouTube's (1)

icecow (764255) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368187)

It's time to move away from the dark ages, period.

Without the entitlement to make million dollar crap movies, oh what would we do with our time. We'd be forced to do something else. Oh the whoa, the terror. By locking down intelectual property we give up something else. I don't want to give up that something else.

Neither side (5, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368195)

I'm not on the side of either Viacom or Google. I'm on the side of the law. The law, specifically the DMCA, spells out what responsibilities Google has, and what Viacom has. Viacom's argument here is that, while Google lives up to it's responsibilities, Viacom finds living up to theirs inconvenient and therefore Google should be saddled with Viacom's responsibilities too. Sorry, Viacom, but that's a matter for you to take up with Congress (who wrote the law).

what is cheaper? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368199)

I wonder if that billion dollars would have been enough to actually buy all of that content from the copyright holders and to assign it to the public domain?

Oh, and the question "Whose side are you on?" can always be properly answered "I am on my side."

Fuck Viacom. (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368203)

And now that we've got the question of "whose side am I on" out of the way...

> On the other side, Jim Louderback, an editor-in-chief of PCMag says that Lance doesn't know what he's talking about: with all the content available online for free, Viacom can kiss those investments goodbye.

On the gripping hand, all of Viacom's content is available online for free by means of high-resolution DiVX-encoded .AVIs by means of .torrents anyways, and Viacom's "investment" isn't worth the share certificates it's printed on.

From an investment perspective, it's more profitable to monetize some of that in the form of ad revenues for the privilege of downloading crappy-resolution .flv videos through YouTube than to monetize none of it at all.

The DMCA is a throwback to the era when "getting web hosting" cost a relative fortune compared to "getting access to the Intertubes". As such, having one's ISP nuke one's self-hosted .mpg or .avi was a reasonable deterrent.

We now live in an age where P2P makes it impossible to "take down" content jointly hosted by dozens of .torrent seeders, and in an age where the number of YouTube users vastly outnumbers the number of copyright lawyers that even Viacom can bring to bear. Google is operating in good faith, and complying with the DMCA. But even their auto-DMCA-takedown-request-bot can't keep up with the fact that for every copy of a video found by a Viacom landshark, there'll be a dozen more fans to replace it. It's a giant game of whack-a-mole, and we all know how well that worked against spammers.

In the meantime, Viacom should be thankful that Joe Sixpack is willing to play whack-a-mole with its landsharks, using YouTube-hosted shitty .flv files as a playing field... rather than playing the same game with other filesharing mechanisms and .mpg and .avi files using codecs more open than Flash.

Oh, and just because I like the sound of it... "fuck Viacom".

Youtube WANTS to damage online video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18368221)

This lawsuit isn't about the shows. It's about damaging online video's popularity. They've seen what the RIAA is going through, and they're trying to nip it in the bud.

Sides? Sides? (3, Funny)

SQL Error (16383) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368227)

Never mind sides. I'll be over here selling popcorn.

Google FTW (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368253)

Google gets to point to the DMCA takedown provision and say "Look - Congress passed this law with specifically this situation in mind, and we have followed the law." Although Google's libility may not be eliminated by the DMCA, it is a powerful arguement.

I think Viacom is suing for the same reason Google didn't come to an agreement - they both WANT to go to court. Viacom wants that provision of the DMCA struck down, and Google wants it upheld. The "Beeliion" dollars is the sign - it's just a random number to get them into the court room.

Nice summary (1)

Z0mb1eman (629653) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368267)

"Viacom can kiss those investments goodbye."

The summary seems to say that Viacom can kiss (potential?) online video investments goodbye. The PC Magazine article is talking about traditional investments from cable operators which might be lost if the content is available for free online.

"actively allowing uploads"

Well, gee, that sure sounds worse than PASSIVELY allowing something. That phrase is what made me actually go to the article, to see if a PC Magazine editor can possibly use wording like that. (I was actively relieved to find that wording nowhere in the article).

Ahhh, forget it.

I am on neither side (2, Interesting)

baomike (143457) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368279)

Which ever one first decides to provide some interesting content gets my vote.
In the battle of the inane vs the vacuous there are no winners.

Depends on the judge (2, Insightful)

gravesb (967413) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368281)

It really depends on the judge. A good judge will look at the DMCA, the Grokster decision, then how much user created content is on YouTube, decide YouTube doesn't actively encourage infringement or rely upon it as a business plan, and will tell Viacom to police YouTube, as is the intent of the DMCA. A bad activist judge will correct this "injustice" and find against Google. Either way, Viacom loses out long term. This is a stupid law suit.

This is called pretexting (1)

dr_strang (32799) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368289)

Viacom is suing because they want part of Google, they want a piece of the action.

Hopefully.. (0)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368323)

Google will pay for some lawyers and appeal this all the way to the supreme court who will say "I love YouTube, it's the shit, you fuckers can go spin" and that will be the end of copyright as we know it.

google (1)

atarione (601740) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368325)

the safe harbor provisions of the DCMA are pretty clear. 125 []

on second thought "clear~ish"

but at the end of the day youtube has been taking down infringing materials when advised of it presence on youtube.

Viacom seems to want to basically destroy the safe harbor provisions of the DCMA.

Viacom is shooting themselves in the foot (1)

mdvolm (68424) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368345)

When there are TV episodes available for free on YouTube (whether sanctioned or not), doesn't this make them more available for people to watch? And if more people watch them, and like them, then doesn't that mean more potential viewership during the actual broadcast, with commercials?

Viacom should just say "thank you" to Google and move on.

Google/Youtube of course. (2, Interesting)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368349)

What does CBS/Viacom want? Google doesnt have technology to magically scan pixel patterns and match them up to CBS tv shows when someone uploads a video.

Google takes down material when asked.

It is that simple.

Anything else expected by CBS/Viacom is unreasonable and impossible to do.

Google should just kick CBS and Viacom and all of its properties off of Googles search engine.

BTW CBS was partnered with a search engine for a while. or something like that. I forgot what the hell it was called but you would win points the more you searched which would enter you in a monthly drawing for a million dollars.

Perhaps CBS is just pissed off that their investment was a complete failure thanks to Google's dominating power.

These companies dont get it. Its a new generation of media. Things are different, and laws much adapt as do the companies... to the new way we access and share media. The internet is a lonely place without video, music and text.

Posting a video on Youtube is the way things are, and have evovled. It's not a crime, its a new use of technology. Its a way to say "HEY man.. check out my new audio tape... this song is great" and then you play it for your friend.

Now we can say "hey world.. check this out... i liked it, maybe you will" or "I made this funny edit of wolf blitzer saying stupid things"...

Its just a new world. Laws need to lighten up not tighten down. There's a great benefit to having your video being displayed somewhere. I would think CBS would be greatful for the free publicity, plus the fact that they dont have to invest money to host that on expensive servers with demanding bandwidth expenses.

Its free publicity. Eat it up. Not clamp down

Falling for the *IAA Cool-Aid (1)

Mike Kelly (864224) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368381)

What happened to "Fair Use"? If there's a relevant passage in a book, can I not quote it? Is Viacom complaining about entire episodes or just small portions. For example, if there's a bit about John Stewart ripping on D. Chaney, I don't see the difference between that and quoting a Shakespeare soliloquy (well... one is written better...)

Besides, if it's a good bit, wouldn't I want to see more? Isn't that free advertising?

Re:Falling for the *IAA Cool-Aid (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368429)

Entire episodes, entire movies.

This will escalate past viacom, the rest of the MPAA players will get involved. I'm thinking they don't want word to get out in the media that you can watch practically any movie on-demand on youtube.

Porn videos on youtube are purged right-quick, with no notice from any copyright holder. Obviously they check all the content as its put on.

Google knows when it's seeing something thats obviously a commercial work. There's no reason for them to allow full length hollywood movies to be posted, except for their profit.

youtube will prevail (1)

N3wsByt3 (758224) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368387)

Youtube has carrier status, which means it isn't responsable for the content third parties put on it. According to USA law, it has to remove copyrighted material when it's notified about it by the copyrightholder. It's long been established by the courtsthat one can't sue carriers for what others do with it; you have to sue those who actually put it there (and carriers only need to act when notified about the infringement.

What people might think off, in regard with succesfully sueing a carrier, was in the latest Supreme court decision, which noted that a P2P-program was at fault for copyright-infringement. However, that case was validated with the specific reasoning that (the people behind) the P2P-system *actively* promoted copyright-infringement (e.g.they said 'use us for illegal downloads', etc.). It was not a matter of holding a carrier responsable because it was used for illegal purposes, but it was it's purported goal.

This case is different, since youtube does not actively supports illegal material to be put on there; the question of 'does it do enough?' has no bearing on it, just like Sony v. Universal Studios (aka the Betamax case). What remains is, that youtube has to delete all copyright-infringements it get notified of, just like all other internet- and webproviders/services.

Since youtube is supported by google, they have the muscle to fight back - and win the case. Of course, changes are that, along the line, they well cut a deal which makes both parties happy, and save the legal costs.

Bah, I told Google this would happen b4 youtube (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368409)

I told them they should be in the buisness of obtaining media rights to do on demand style television online. I told them online video is the next big thing. If Google loses this lawsuit, it will show I was right in two ways. :)

I'm not on anyone's side though, it's an interesting case if you look at it. For example a Slashdot poster's comments has no affiliation with Slashdot. But what if a Slashdot poster started posting links to free DVDs you can burn on your home computer? Is Slashdot at fault for allowing a forum for that to happen, or is it the poster... Makes you think.

Whose side are you on? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18368449)

Depends on whose side the terrorists are.

"Reparations" (1)

Atario (673917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368477)


If they're dumb: "total universal control"

If they're smart: "a piece of YouTube's action"

Short clips are fair use... (3, Insightful)

FunWithKnives (775464) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368535)

One thing that many seem to be forgetting is that short excerpts are defined as fair-use. I believe that if Viacom actually does succeed with this lawsuit, it will set a very bad precedent. The majority of videos that have been taken down so far have been short clips, and thus fair-use compliant. I actually tried in vain recently to look up the clip of John Stewart's take on Senator "Series of Tubes" Stevens and Net Neutrality. It has been taken down (probably many times), and yet I am fairly certain that it would fall within the boundaries of fair-use.

I support the removal of full content, such as movies. It does not make a difference if they are chopped up into ten minute segments or not, because it is quite simple to put the full movie back together again. Regarding full television shows, though, I am still unsure. I believe that the boundary is blurred at that point. However, short clips of shows or movies should not by any means be removed. It does not matter if it is in order to placate the parent corporation or not. I hope that Google makes this one of the cornerstones of their defense, and really drives it home that fair-use is actively being usurped.

Who should Win? We should Win. (4, Interesting)

Gonarat (177568) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368565)

My knee-jerk reaction is to say that Google should win, put I think this case needs to be looked at closer -- this is a good example of the future meeting the past.

On Google's side:

They are complying with the DMCA takedown notices. The problem is, as soon as one takedown is done, another copy goes up under another title or user name. It is like playing whack-a-mole.

Not all of the content is simply copies of content available on the air. I have seen some well done "Music Videos" (i.e. Clips from different movies/TV shows set to various songs) and some interesting stuff like the (fake) Titanic II film promo.

YouTube video is low quality. I would rather watch a full TV show on a real TV set rather than YouTube.

Google is in business to make money.

On Viacom's side:

The material does belong to them. Having to keep issuing takedown notices is a pain in the ass, and takes up a lot of time and money.

From Jim Louderback, also of PC Mag - Jim's Column [] - Providers such Viacom have agreements with Cable and Satellite providers stating that only x% of their programming can be on line (x is typically 10% or less), so having all of this video online could open them up to breach of contract.

They are in the business to make money.

On My Side:

It is good to have access to content without a lot of restrictions. Like it or not, content put out by Viacom, the RIAA, et. al. becomes part of our culture, and should not be totally locked up. The problem is, where should the line be drawn? I think Viacom should allow clips and derived content, but I can understand wanting to keep some sort of control over it.

I want as much content as possible for as little money as possible (I already pay for Internet and Satellite, so I have access to most of the Viacom channels)


So what is the best solution? There has to be some happy medium where everyone can get at least some of what they want. The RIAA has been fighting p2p for at least seven years now, and has nothing to show for it but declining revenues and increasing hatred by the public. Why would Viacom and/or Google want to end up in the same boat? If Viacom wins, they will look as greedy as the RIAA and the public will find other places to post content. If Google wins, Viacom et. al. will just lobby for changes in the DMCA, which already stinks enough as it is. So what to do --

1. Settle this suit by Google offering Viacom a reasonable payment to cover posting of material. At the resolution that YouTube uses, neither Viacom or the Cable/Satellite industry should suffer. Most people would rather watch shows on a nice TV instead of a small YouTube window.

2. Figure out a way to end the content wars once and for all. This includes the RIAA's ongoing war against p2p and along with the YouTube crap that is going on also. It is time to quit suing and put the Lawyers to work actually doing something constructive for once in their lives -- fixing copyright so that it works in the Internet era. This may involve a small monthly fee along with my DSL bill -- I wouldn't mind paying $5 to $10 per month to allow for legal p2p downloads, YouTube viewing, etc. Forget DRM -- it just penalizes your customers and doesn't stop "piracy" anyway.

The market has changed, and resisting change isn't working. It is time to quit trying to turn back the clock, and time to move forward. The VCR didn't kill the Movie Industry (quite the opposite -- take that Jack V), quit bitching and get to work. Otherwise, Viacom, the RIAA, et. al. will end up committing slow suicide.

Your call guys.

Rant over.

Betamax decision? (1)

riceboy50 (631755) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368581)

I think YouTube is probably covered by safe harbor clause in the DMCA that has been mentioned by others, but to a lesser extent they are probably going to be helped by the Betamax precedent which stated that video recorders offered substantial non-infringing uses and are therefore admissible. The difference was that Napster had almost zero non-infringing uses.

Here's my view of the situation (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368631)

Google have offered a deal to Viacom. Viacom have rejected the deal.

It's unlikely that people are choosing low quality segments of video on Youtube rather than watching broadcast quality shows on television. The impact on Viacom is small.

Maybe Google didn't offer a reasonable amount. Maybe this lawsuit is just part of the negotiation. Both sides know it could backfire horribly.

Google are profiting indirectly from the infringement. The DMCA safe harbor provisions may still be enough to protect them. It would seem unreasonable that the onus is on YouTube to prove that every single clip it shows is licenced by the copyright holder. I believe courts can use reasonableness as a factor in interpreting laws.

Google are in a much better position than Napster, since despite Viacom's Rhetoric, there's a decent amount of user created content there.

If Viacom lose, then Youtube has no reason to offer them any substantial deal.

I know enough not to speculate too much on how court cases will go. They can be unpredictable. Personally I want YouTube to win. Otherwise the service may end up non-viable, and video-clip on demand is a useful service.

Algorithm for copyright detection (1)

aeschenkarnos (517917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368663)

Has anyone come up with an algorithm with which to determine whether a given video clip breaches copyright law (taking account of fair use defenses)? How about one to determine if a given picture is porn or not?

Thought not. Viacom is essentially asking Google to do something that is impossible.

Tired of the legal boilshhet ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18368669)

I have told creators of "intellectual property" for many, many years that if they don't want their work copied, shared, modified, distributed, enhanced and/or appropriated by others, they have no other choice but to keep their work to themselves. It's not "fair", but it's reality. If you're dumb enough to show your work to other people, then you lose the right to cry when it gets "stolen".

Let me make this clear - there is no such thing as "intellectual property" beyond the limits and definition of the law ... and the law is an ass. Law is ink on paper. Law is worthless. Law is more changeable than the weather and more malleable than warm butter. An idea cannot and will not be owned, ever, anywhere, by anyone ... and no legitlation will ever change that fact.

If it's "out here", then it's free to consume by anyone hungry enough to reach out and take it. If you think you "own" what you just tossed into the open, then you're too stupid to breed.

Flame me. I dare you.

Whose side? (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368711)

Whose side? Screw Viacom. Once they're broadcast it over free television, they're not allowed to restrict or charge for it again. Clear enough?

Just another completely friviolous lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18368751)

Where would we be without frivolous lawsuits? Well, the coffee at McDonald's would not be cold anymore. But anyway.

This is nothing but a frivolous lawsuit. If Viacom were interested at all in making money from the content, they would sell it. But no. They do not. The only way to get so much of this stuff, at all, is from Youtube.

Well, there is a good chance that Viacom might end up effectively lying in the courtroom enough to get Youtube censored. I suggest that you download your favorite stuff off of there before it is gone.

Half and half (2, Insightful)

damista (1020989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18368785)

I'm in two minds. On one hand, I can understand Viacom wanting to protect its "property". On the other hand, music video are ads for the artists and they should be happy about some free advertisments. Also, why did Viacom not sue YouTube before they were bought by Google? Because they knew there wasn't much to get? Now where Google owns YouTube, there's a lot of money make. This practice reminds me of patent trolls, who only start enforcing their "intellectual property" once a product is established and successful, in other words: As soon as there's money to be made.
Not licenced content on YouTube is nothing new. The discussions about it have been going on way before Google took over YouTube and if Viacom claims they weren't aware of it until now, they're lying.
Considering this, I hope the case gets thrown out of court, setting a signal to others to make their claims when they become aware of the violation of their rights and not when it starts getting worth claiming.
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