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Viacom sues Google for $1 billion

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Google sued over YouTube clips


<h2>Google sued over YouTube clips

Viacom alleges "massive intentional copyright infringement"...

By Greg Sandoval

Published: Wednesday 14 March 2007

Viacom has slapped YouTube and parent company Google with a lawsuit, accusing the wildly popular video-sharing site of "massive intentional copyright infringement" and seeking more than $1bn in damages.

The complaint, filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, contends that nearly 160,000 unauthorised clips of Viacom's entertainment programming have been available on YouTube and that these clips have been viewed more than 1.5 billion times.

Viacom, an entertainment giant that owns DreamWorks, Paramount Pictures and a number of cable channels, said it has also asked the court for an injunction to halt the alleged copyright infringement.

Viacom said in its complaint: "YouTube appropriates the value of creative content on a massive scale for YouTube's benefit without payment or licence. YouTube's brazen disregard of the intellectual-property laws fundamentally threatens not just plaintiffs but the economic underpinnings of one of the most important sectors of the United States economy."

The lawsuit represents a serious escalation in the conflict with YouTube, and it is also the most significant legal challenge over intellectual-property rights to video-sharing's number one site. But some industry observers doubt this will embolden other entertainment companies to mount their own court challenges.

Google downplayed the legal challenge and extolled the benefits to content creators that it sees in YouTube.

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

"YouTube is great for users and offers real opportunities to rights holders: the opportunity to interact with users; to promote their content to a young and growing audience; and to tap into the online-advertising market. We will certainly not let this suit become a distraction to the continuing growth and strong performance of YouTube and its ability to attract more users [and] more traffic, and [to] build a stronger community."

Google, which acquired YouTube last October for $1.65bn, recognised the possibility that the video site would one day be forced to wage lengthy court battles. The company has reportedly set aside a sum of money to fund legal costs.

Meanwhile, Google has successfully negotiated licensing deals with many entertainment companies, including CBS, Warner Music Group and most recently, the BBC.

CNET News.com's Elinor Mills contributed to this report

Greg Sandoval writes for CNET News.com

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I hope this blows up in Viacom's face. YouTube admin's take down copyrighted material all the time, so I don't see how they "intentionally" infringing copyright laws. The content is 90% user created or uploaded, so If they want to sue someone they should sue the people that upload the content, not google. And we all know how that sort of thing halts people from doing it :hardgay: :hardgay:

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Lol poophy, i just read that today, I think viacom is fucked up, Google isn't letting them do it, its the users. Though i suppose google could post a warning, but theres no real way to stop the users, so if Viacom wants to sue, they should sue the users, even though its nearly impossible.

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It's a shame that old media companies can't adapt well to new technology. Hard media is dying, youtube and social networking is a great way to advertise and if companies don't take advantage they will lose out to the companies that are taking advantage!

In the next few years we'll either see media companies either gaining control of their content and losing money or freeing their content and reaching more eyes and making more money then ever before.

Hopefully, the latter will happen. But the way things are happening with these suits and all this bullshit... no one can tell.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There really is no wa for them to disable the uploading of copryrighted clips, that would requiring entering the millions of copyrighted clips into a program that they would have to program to dissallow anything that has similar images from the millions of clips painstakingly entered into the database. and, seeing as how theres no way to do that it would have to go on a smililari basis which would then in turn stop clips that werent those copyrighted.

And on a completley unrelated note. Viacom could force google to implement "commercials" in place of the black screen the shows related clips.

And on an even more unrelated note. Imagine if GPS systems tracked stores prices and then relayed them to you "Everything must go sale on right in (5) miles."

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