Remember how we thought that the $1.6 billion Google paid for the popular video site, YouTube was a bit high? Well, slap me silly and call me Nancy! After months of threats, Viacom has now sued Google with (in the words of Dr. Evil) ONE BILLLLL-ION DOLLARS.
Google Acquires YouTube, Viacom Sues Google
The second Google took hold of YouTube Viacom went into action. Though the company only complained about the copyright infringement taking place on the site while under the rule of two twenty-somethings, Google's acquisition gave Viacom something they could sink their teeth into.
Though Google had received threats from Viacom since they took YouTube in, I can understand the dilemma. With thousands of new videos being uploaded to the site a day -- most in the form of clips, not entire shows/films -- it must have been hard to keep up with removing unwanted videos. Besides, doesn't one-minute clips help promote a show rather than hurt it? Somewhat like free advertising?
That's at least my take on the subject, but maybe that makes me a video pirate.
Viacom claims that approximately 160,000 Viacom clips have been uploaded to YouTube. I don't know who they made compute the math, but the company also predicts that these same clips have been viewed at least 1.5 billion times.
"YouTube is a significant, for-profit organization that has built a lucrative business out of exploiting the devotion of fans to others' creative works in order to enrich itself and its corporate parent Google," Viacom charged in the statement.
Viacom represent properties including MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures. Many can take an educated guess and assume a good majority of the clips are likely to be music videos from MTV/VH1 or moments with Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert from Comedy Central. Who the hell has been stealing from Nick and why?
Don't think, however, that Google wasn't doing anything to prevent this showdown. My personal account had been warned on multiple occasions for uploading (wait for it) Daily Show clips. So, the site was at least trying to prevent more Viacom infringement.
What does the lawsuit mean? Good news for the smaller video sites on the net who have dodged Viacom's radar and get to keep their videos. Even if Google is to lose this case, by no means think YouTube is down and out.