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Viacom sues Google for a billion

mister scruff [PersonRank 3]

Tuesday, March 13, 2007
17 years ago5,182 views

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Media conglomerate Viacom Inc. said on Tuesday that it was suing Google Inc. and its Internet video-sharing site YouTube for more than $1 billion over unauthorized use of its programming online.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

17 years ago #

yes that sucks, deals go wrong, but in way should dirty tactics be used. Google has taken down / removed more than 100,000 clips from its site that users uploaded without Viacom’s permission.

It seems that corporations make more money only by suing rather by innovation .. e.g RIM patents issue .. etc etc

stefan2904 [PersonRank 10]

17 years ago #

mountain view, you have a problem!?
big story? was also on our radio-news at this moment. first time i recognized google there.

(ok, i think google owns enought money, but to give it away on this way....!?)

Brinke Guthrie [PersonRank 10]

17 years ago #

Larry n' Sergey can get that much out of a local ATM.

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

17 years ago #

160,000 unauthorized clips watched 1,5 billion times > only 9375 views for each video by average.
I understand when some company don't like Google's method because they LOST money cause of Youtube & Co. But there, a lot of these videos are surely non watchable elsewhere, and they aren't saled on any support by Viacom. So it's stupid. And 1 billion is quite stupid. Why not 3 billions?

Basically, Google will end by making a (secret?) deal with Viacom to close the case... as usual ;-)

mister scruff [PersonRank 3]

17 years ago #

its probably hardball tactics – Viacom just wants a better Adsense deal off Google for all the content up there in YouTube.

i hope it gets settled out of court, and YouTube users can just get on with uploading their favourite clips. after all – its practically free advertising for viacom content.

Redoubt [PersonRank 0]

17 years ago #

Viacom walks into the cesspool of the potty-mouthed adolescents and halfwits who make little home videos? And to do what? Are they going to scrub YouTube for a few dollars or just make the entertainment industry look worse than it already does to those who support their coke habits?

Frankly, all this property rights BS has gone way too far. Before long, you’ll have to rent a license to urinate… just in case you have been sipping somebody else’s water or wine.

If someday, all music and all video belongs to everyone freely, it will be because the corporate Neanderthals didn’t know when to quit.

TDavid [PersonRank 1]

17 years ago #

"However, they’re often used for “criticism, comment, news reporting” because of YouTube’s comment functionality, and US copyright law explicitly lists these as potential “fair use” candidates."

Phillip – if that is your interpretation of US Copyright Law that is a *really* a stretch that is doubtful any court here will ever rule on. The comment functionality of a website is not the person publishing the work, that's described by the activity of the people coming after publishing of the work. Fair use would apply to the work itself, IE. the video, not the comments some people may or may not leave based on the work.

I seriously doubt any court would say a 10 minute video of pure Viacom content was Fair Use just because there were a few comments left after it was published, any more than I could claim fair use taking a copyrighted blog post verbatim and then trying to hide behind a few comments left on the post afterwards.

Now a few seconds of a song used in a minute or longer podcast review of an album, there's Fair Use. A few seconds of a TV show clipped in a critical opinion/review videoblog that lasted a minute or two? There's Fair Use.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

17 years ago #

> I seriously doubt any court would say a 10 minute video
> of pure Viacom content was Fair Use just because there
> were a few comments left after it was published

Yes, I aboslutely agree. It was important to me to note in the post that what I meant is "that a lot of Viacom content on YouTube may be infringing while a lot of other Viacom content may not be infringing". Differently put, when Viacom says there's 160,000 unauthorized clips on the site then that may be accurate (for the sake of argument let's say it is), but unauthorized does not equal illegal... because fair use doesn't require authorization.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

17 years ago #

Can google take out searches for "Viacom" on any of its media properties thus it will turn up nothing. ??

Can this be the case ?? Remember that they did this eariler too..

[update] Could someone sue Google for not being included in its search engine?

Hong Xiaowan [PersonRank 10]

17 years ago #

My thinking is, give Viacome a Adsense Account, When Viacom content show, according to the Adsense Policy, give Viacom AD fee.

How about this rate?
Google 20%
Viacom 30%
Uploader 50%

I think this is also a kind of "Fair USE"

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

17 years ago #

<<Can google take out searches for "Viacom" on any of its media properties thus it will turn up nothing. ??>>

"Don't be evil!"

Hong Xiaowan [PersonRank 10]

17 years ago #

I think YouTube can be a good place to display the old media company's copyright works.

The old media company also can build a brand zone at YouTube. It will be both win and make money for both.

Viacom can force YouTube remove all their clips and all their video links at Google, but at the meantime, it will also lost all Viacom infections in this such a big place as YouTube.

YouTube is a hot free store for everyone. Viacom, why select the war instead of cooperation?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

17 years ago #

The SeekingAlpha blog discusses the question, "Under What Circumstances Does a Website Lose its DMCA Safe Harbor Protection?"

[Thanks David Jackson!]

Arthur Muhlig [PersonRank 0]

17 years ago #

   The first thought that comes to mind is, Is there nothing that we can do anymore that somebody won't say something about.? relax max!!!
   Personally I quite enjoy just sitting back watching the many music videos that are on U-Tube some old some new, etc,etc. you can t do this, you cant do that... what's this world coming too...

Am I right in what I'm saying here?... Feel free to let me know


nick steffen [PersonRank 1]

17 years ago #

What is the fair use limit on videos? Is 30 seconds fair use? 60? 5 minutes? Once I tried to upload a 5 second (or so) video of a commercial source, and it was declined (I was using Google video). Surely fair use has to kick in somewhere.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

17 years ago #

There's no clear definition but it also depends on the context of your own work. If you create a 1 hour documentary on Fox, maybe you can get away with showing 15 minutes of Fox footage (e.g. the documentary Outfoxed, which was for "criticism", one of the fair use cornerstones). However, I don't find it easy to define the "context" in the online age. E.g. if I write about Google everyday, then is my *whole blog* the "work" surrounding the usage? Or is it a single post? And what if you have a YouTube video channel, showing off a video everyday? Then what's the context here? Your channel, or the individual uploaded video? And do the comments below that video count, even when they're only added afterwards? I don't believe traditional laws really had to discuss these issues...

/pd [PersonRank 10]

17 years ago #

this is an interesting article on the wealth of YouTube!! – did google make a mistake (BIG) one, on this round of aqquistions ??

TooBad [PersonRank 0]

17 years ago #

On 9 October 2006, Google bought YouTub with USD1.6billion.

On 13 March 2007, Viacom filed a US $1 billion lawsuit against Google and YouTube alleging massive copyright infringement, alleging that users frequently uploaded copyrighted material to YouTube – enough to cause a hit in revenue for Viacom and a gain in advertisement revenue for YouTube. “

YouTub was established on 2 Feb 2005 by three ex-employees of PayPal –Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim.


I have a feeling that it looks like a Commercial Swindle showing how to collect protection fee in US, from medium amount to huge figures.

My personal experience in Asia was that most business cases with Chen and Yeung involves will have bad ending, from street swindle from government swindle.

In Singapore and Mainland China, there were continuous news about how government made decisions to against them because of various crimes, from commercial crimes like swindle, tax problem, money laundering, to drug dealings, etc.

Chen and Yeung has a signal in some cities of Asia – Chen use green color, Yeung use red color; Chen use number 3, Yeung use number 2.

One of my classmates – Ms. Chen, a Mainland Chinese with two and half years experience in audit firm, once called me for USD10million investment in two projects – USD30million for a 1km road construction project in remote area in Mainland China; USD40million for a bread company change to a power plant.

She threaded to bad list me, when I tried to obtain proper due diligence documents for the projects. Two weeks after we had an argument about the projects, I got a news that a SME organization decided to post some employee's personal information including their photo on web site. The person in charge was a Ms. Chen – not the Ms. Chen called me for money.

I was also followed and disturbed by some strength people for a few years.

In 2005, I met a lady after attending an exhibition in Asia. She called my nick name that only a few of my classmates knew, including a Ms. Yeung. Then, she asked me to give her 3,000 cash. She said, "Take 3,000 cash from ATM machine immediately. Otherwise, I will call the policy to sue you for intentional attack." Later I find this lady's family name is also Ms. Yeung.

Her boyfriend works in American Express. One person Ms. Leung that I met is working in American Express. I met the Ms. Leung in a business cocktail organized by business chambers open to public. She was with a Mr. Yeung – an investment advisor of a company established by Yeung Shou Shen.

She may got my information from her friend in Ammerican Express.

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