Viacom Sues Google for One (insert Doctor Evil voice here) BILLION dollars

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Reuters is reporting that Viacom Inc. is suing Google Inc. and YouTube for more than $1 billion over unauthorized use of its programming online.

  • The lawsuit, the biggest challenge to date to Google’s ambitions to make YouTube into a major vehicle for advertising and entertainment, accuses the Web search leader and its unit of “massive intentional copyright infringement.”
  • Viacom filed the suit with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeking more than $1 billion in damages and an injunction against further violations.
  • dre.jpgViacom contends that almost 160,000 unauthorized clips of its programming have been uploaded onto YouTube’s site and viewed more than 1.5 billion times.
  • “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.”

Maybe YouTube users can all toss in some money to fund the suit. If 1,000 of us tossed in 1 million each we’d have it covered.

Author: Nalts

Hi. I'm Nalts.

30 thoughts on “Viacom Sues Google for One (insert Doctor Evil voice here) BILLION dollars”

  1. This TOTALLY SUCKS! Ugh… the only reason they are doing this is because Google owns it and they figure they can cash in because they can’t make enough profit themselves.

    YouTube has given shows like Colbert Report a ton of publicity… Viacom needs to wake up! People WANT to watch short clips on the net. This reminds me of when everyone was crucifying Napster. Maybe Apple will start selling clips on iTunes for 99 cents each?

    🙁 🙁 🙁

  2. I don’t understand their legal case. The DMCA was made to protect companies like YouTube so that businesses do not have to actively try to remove copyrighted content.

  3. It is my understanding that the primary reason the DCMA was made was to protect copyright holders. ISPs are only protected if they follow specific guidelines AND block access to copywritten materials when requested.

    The fact of the matter is that GooTube is making advertising money off of someone else’s copywritten material. Much like when everyone here was upset that Nalts’ video was stolen and featured on another site and he didn’t get paid. If YouGoog’s lawyers didn’t see this coming during due diligence, they’re guilty of malpractice.

    The news stories imply that Viacom only filed the suit after negotiations broke down. It sounds like a strong arm tactic, but I’m sure many others will follow.

  4. The DCMA was made so that sites would be protected from certain lawsuits. The problem here, in my opinion, may be that Viacom had already threatened lawsuits if their videos weren’t removed. While they were removed (along with many unrelated videos), it was obvoius they were completely serious. The day YouTube removed the videos, there were already new ones up – I searched on purpose to see. They didn’t proactively try to remove the videos that they knew would get them in trouble. The way I see it, if a company tells you to remove 100,000 of their clips, you can makethe extra effort to remove the rest. You search the sitge for half an hour a day and remove them.

  5. Well, it is my understanding the site owner has to be informed about each copyright infringement and it is not their responsibility to filter out content on a regular basis. I may be wrong though.

  6. I think that everybody should agree to let YouTube garnish wages.

    Let’s start with Mr. Safety’s.

  7. Hahaha! I’ve said it before (here) and I’ll say it again: Because of YouTube’s scofflaw ways, YouTubers will see obeying copyright infringement laws as evil. This could be a boon to us Revver-trained original content providers!

    I’m all for garnishing the wages of copyright thieves (mostly because it doesn’t gore MY ox).

  8. Viacom are doing it for free publicity. I’ve just figured it all out. Have you also noticed that ‘select’ gmail accounts have been corrupted. Meaning I’m one of the unlucky soles that can’t check their youtube mail or send stuff to school!

  9. btw the only video site ive properly used is revver, so not breaking copyright is pretty much natural to me.

    Anyone checked out Stage 6? divX new platform? I needed to catch up on afew episodes of lost, I dounf them all on there in HD. Tons of other new shows too.

    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy been able to do this. But I fully appreciate that when Google and Youtube are found guilty of there crimes, all the other sites will s**t themselves and realise they are not immune to the law.

  10. 1 BILLION DOLLARS! That is ALOT of money. I do understand why they would sue, but damn, it’s not like youtube can have people watching 24/7 at each video that is uploaded…

  11. This means that if you sing more than the first three notes of Happy Birthday on your video you could be sued. Further, if you have any copyrighted material in your videos you are actually libel under the terms you signed when you registered with youtube. So youtube could start narking on it’s users. Even if you own the CD you are still libel to pay the artist/company for at least each hit you get. Finally, what’s to stop Coke from suing for using it’s product name and image in all those fun and games with mentos?

    Of course, that’s if every letter of the law is followed. I‘m not happy about this at all, no one should be.

    Laws need to be rewritten and, perhaps people need to start making private clubs if they want to share anything that hints at copyright.

    I know I wouldn’t spend as much time on youtube if it wasn’t for all the other stuff, as much as I like Nalts, MarkDay, Marquies et al – If they enforce this law there won’t be much left. Not to mention people who get pissed off cause their stuff was taken down or they were reported and slapped with a law suit, eventually they will turn round and becomes Narks. And let’s face it, the Common’s Music and Videos are pretty boring.

    more…

  12. Little more on the private clubs/subscriber thing.
    I uploaded two copyrighted segments on yt for a friend, “weeee cool!” I thought, I didn’t promote it or anything, none the less, someone else found it, probably because of the tags and reported one of the segments. yt sent me a nice nasty little note saying, don’t do that again or else! ok fine, so I took the other segment and made it private, Voila! It’s still there. Only those I choose to view can see it now. My private club is now my private virtual living room and just like when friends and their friends (strangers) come over and watch a movie or listen to music I don’t pay a fee or charge them and send a portion of the money to the corporations. That’s how I see it anyway.

    When I go to my neighbor’s house for some product party, take your pick, and they play a CD they don’t charge me for the mood music during their presentation and send it off to the big record companies, but this family is selling something, they are alllll-ways selling something, and using music to help pitch their sales in their living room or in the garage. So one day I suppose if they piss me off enough with their damn leaves falling in my yard maybe I can say rake these up now or I’ll nark you out to the RAAAA!

    Yes, I know some of this sounds ridicules, but remember you did sign the yt agreement and if these corps want to take this to the letter of the law you are also responsible because you checked the agreement box that no one ever reads. So in the future, if you agree with Via-con, don’t even have the hint of a product sound or imagine in your videos because on youtube you are always selling something. In most cases you are selling yourself. If it’s hits or subscribers you want there is something for you to gain that will eventually generate income.

    I think yt and google didn’t come to an agreement with Via-con because google wants these laws re-written and I think they feel they have the power of the people behind them. Not only that, google has the power to put these record companies out of business, by creating a space and advertising to the benefit of the independent artist. Screw the record companies there’s going to be google radio and google TV, all venues, with the ability to download. All you need is a blank disk, your ipod or a hard drive.

    So I’m watching to see what happens. I can’t wait to read all the negotiations Via-con refused while I sit back and watch the slow death of old media. Once the content creator is able to use their logos I’ll be there watching the video of their very last breath. bahahahaha!

  13. Thats 1 BILLLLLION Dollars………+ the 1.65 BILLLLLLLLLLION Dollars google shelled out to buy the youtube=2.65 BILLLLLLLLLLION DOLLARS!…….now where is mini-me? i know hes around here somewhere…….o my! sorry mini-me,i didnt realize i was sitting on you! :-O

  14. Jischinger – I think your a little misguided.

    All the family guy, simpons, Friends, etc etc etc TV shows and now even FULL LENGTH MOVIES that can be found on youtube is simply f***ing ridiculous! Your surely not trying to defend it? Are you insane?

    FFS EVERY video that goes on Youtube should be moderated, in full, by a HUMAN who knows wtf he/she is doing. I swear they employ a bunch of non english speaking 7 year olds in taiwan to do it. I mean come on!!!!

    They were making money from piracy. I know the USA laws are a little screwed up and unbalanced, but over here (UK) we have sensible laws, and piracy gets a huge whopping fine and a prison sentence. and thats if your making a few thousand from it.

    Youtube make millions from it. And yeah, they should be fined for it and people should go to prison.

    But America been America… what happens? they get SUED!!!! I mean come on, isn’t it a federal law or whatever in your country? FFS the government/state whatever should be prosecuting youtube!

  15. 1st you’re never going to stop piracy.

    2nd the laws need to be re-written.

    3rd American record and media companies have been ripping artists and consumers off for decades so I don’t really care how much $ they lose or how much they suffer economically.

    Sure I believe in the rule of law, but it’s been lopsided for so long that I see it more as pay back, perhaps even restitution, than anything else.

    4th the tax breaks these corps get and the money the top artists make is embarrassing, certainly UK corps and artists pay a hefty tax to support their fellow countrymen, no?

    Not in the US. Why should I care when I have no investment in these companies and they have no investment in my country?

    Perhaps, it’s not the right way to go about it, but it’s not been addressed properly either, that‘s why there is a giant law suit and a place were lawyers can make a lot of money.

    In fact, I find it amusing that one big giant corp. is fighting another big giant corp. Who has my interests at heart in this battle? Right now it’s google.

    And as far as FG or full length movies etc., those people don’t make enough money already?

    If we are going to cry, “It’s not fair!” here then let’s look at the larger picture in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    Liam, I don’t know what else to say to a guy who’s videos exploit women, promotes fighting and setting oneself on fire, along with some of the cheesiest music I have ever heard in my life.

    You know there are people who would like your stuff removed for moral reasons and btw how much are you pay that flesh/meat to jiggle their boobs and booty? What’s their cut for this [cough] creativity? Some places in the US have a poll dancers union, are you paying these women union wages to shake their thing to the masturbating men just before they click on your ads?

    If these are heights and standards we wish rise to as a society then it is a mighty sad day for artists and the word creativity.

    Also please take into consideration that most of the people in this space have used copy written material at one time or another and it has truly enhanced their videos with little to no monetary gain.

    I hope you wouldn’t want to see them held libel or would nark them out.

  16. How is Viacom losing money by having people upload shows to Youtube? More people watch? Oh maybe the sponsor is being cut out! So, Viacom should also sue Tivo!

    If ad people wanted to be innovative they would run a billboard type ad for 30 seconds. So when you fast forward you see the same image. “BUY THIS CAR FROM THIS AUTO MANUFACTURER” LOL Doubt it will work though.

  17. Hey, Jischinger – it doesn’t matter who owns the copyright, stealing is stealing. Big corp or little guy. You don’t own their stuff. If you make money off of someone else’s stuff without permission, you are stealing.

    It’s like this: You own a store. Without permission, you go to a farm and pick some apples to sell at your store. It doesn’t matter if it’s a corporate farm or a family farm – you’re stealing their apples. It doesn’t matter if the corporate farm is exploiting cheap labor to grow the apples. It doesn’t matter if you put a big sign next to the apples that say, “Farmer Brown’s Apples – best in town!” and that sign causes people to walk down to Farmer Brown’s house and buy pecks of apples. They are not your apples.

    “…that most of the people in this space have used copy written material at one time or another…” – you can count me out “most people.” I don’t do it, never have, never will. I’ve had bosses ask me to and I’ve told them I won’t break the law just ’cause they’re too cheap.

  18. Jischinger – the videos I use are submitted to me. In my legal disclaimer, I ask that the user has permission from the people in the video to submit it. Simple.

    So no, I wont be paying the people anything.

    You seem to have a dissapproval of my content, and yet seem to ignore the fact that the majority of the videos on Fight-Vids are martial arts videos.

    Ok, Im no music artist. And I dont expect to be. But while your quick to critisize the little masturbating men who click my ads, its obvious that you’ve watched most of the Babe videos on our site 😛

    The backing music is there to add sound. Because when people send me the videos, they have copyrighted music on them. I made a quick backing track in garageband for now. In future I will be using a variety of music on a creative commons license. But for now, you will have to suffer my garageband garbage while you watch my babe videos 😉

    Im strongly against copyright, and I fail to see how critisizing our site will make it any more right to break the law. Sorry, maybe I just cant help beeen a law abiding citizen.

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