Viacom goes after Google for YouTube infringements

Written by Wil Harris

March 13, 2007 | 16:19

Tags: #copyright #dmca #lawsuit #viacom #youtube

Companies: #google

There's been another development in the saga of the spat between YouTube and Viacom.

Previously, Viacom asked Google to remove all videos taken from its media properties from the video sharing site. Viacom had failed to reach a deal with the search giant that it felt handed over enough dosh, so pulled the plug on all clips on the site. Viacom is a media giant, which owns properties such as Comedy Central and MTV, along with its hit shows South Park and The Daily Show, both stalwarts of the most popular videos list on YouTube.

Viacom took its videos and posted them all on its own site, hoping to attract eyeballs. Meanwhile, YouTube has been continuing with its policy of removing videos following a DMCA takedown request - whilst implementing pro-active filtering for its commercial partners.

Having decreed that it was unfair for Google to uphold copyright law only for those who entered into a commercial lawsuit, Viacom has gone further and has now sued Google for damages. Following the $1.65bn acquisition of YouTube, rumour has it that Google set aside a $500m 'war chest' for paying off copyright owners and fighting lawsuits. Viacom is after a Dr Evil-esque $1bn in damages, which could rip through that pile of cash and put a significant dent in even Google's finances.

Viacom says that the damages relate to the playback of over 160,000 separate videos that were hosted on YouTube. Have you seen any of them, and what do you think of YouTube's chances now the lawsuits are kicking in? Let us know your thoughts over in the forums.
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