Viacom sue Youtube/ Google

March 14, 2007

This is perhaps old news (at least in internet terms!), but US television network Viacom have announced that they are to sue Youtube and its parent company Google for $1bn, for what Viacom claims is “massive intentional copyright infringement”. This stems from the appearance of Viacom-copyrighted televisual material on Youtube.

The internet has been abuzz with commentary on this announcement, the majority taking a negative stance towards Viacom’s move.  For what it’s worth, I think that this is a classic example of a big media company failing to see the wood for the trees. Instead of recognising that sites like Youtube provide invaluable marketing and dissemination of their products (even though, arguably and strictly speaking, copyright is being breached), companies such as Viacom resort to the courts, thereby inflicting on themselves a PR disaster entirely of their own making.

This seems a similar situation to that of the Association of American Publishers suing Google over perceived  breach of copyright arising from Google’s Library project, despite the fact that Google have been providing exposure to the long tail of books that had effectively disappeared off the radar of publishers, authors and booksellers alike.

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2 Responses to “Viacom sue Youtube/ Google”

  1. neilstewart Says:

    Thanks lo-fi! There’s lots more to be said about this, I think, and no doubt the internet will have plenty more commentary to come.


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