Google’s Hangover Starts

From The Guardian today: Dick Parsons, the chairman and chief executive of Time Warner, fired a shot across the bows of Google, saying his group would pursue its copyright complaints against the video sharing site Google paid $1.6bn for YouTube this week amid concerns that some of the fledgling website’s 100m videos breached copyright rules. Time Warner, the media and entertainment group that owns the Warner Brothers movie studio, Time Inc magazines and the HBO TV channel, is one of several large media companies concerned about possibly illegal use of its material on YouTube. Mr Parsons told the Guardian:

“You can assume we’re in negotiations with YouTube and that those negotiations will be kicked up to the Google level in the hope that we can get to some acceptable position.”

He denied the decision to pursue any potential infringement had been prompted by this week’s acquisition. Google, whose core search function attracted 204 million users in August, four times those who used YouTube, has a higher market capitalisation than Time Warner. “We were going to pursue it anyway,” he said. “If you let one thing ignore your rights as an owner it makes it much more difficult to defend those rights when the next guy comes along.”
He took a more emollient stance than some when he said: “We’d like to have our content displayed on these platforms, but on a basis that it respects our rights as the owner of that content.”

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