The war begins! Viacom file a $1 billion law suit against google for infingement of its copyrights through it Youtube property. Viacom also go one step further and accuse Youtube of deliberately avoiding doing anything to stop copyright infringement by its users in an attempt to earn revenues. Should be very interesting to see how this one pans out as it could set a precedent for the whole online video industry and if Viacom are successful everyone else will be sure to follow suit!
Viacom Slaps Google with $1B YouTube Lawsuit
Accusing YouTube of “massive intentional copyright infringement,” media giant Viacom filed a $1 billion lawsuit Tuesday against the video site and its parent Google, CNET reports. Some 160,000 clips of Viacom programming have been illegally available on YouTube and have been viewed more than 1.5 billion times, Viacom said. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and also seeks an injunction prohibiting Google and YouTube from further copyright infringement.”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. 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,” Viacom said in a statement.”In fact, YouTube’s strategy has been to avoid taking proactive steps to curtail the infringement on its site, thus generating significant traffic and revenues for itself while shifting the entire burden – and high cost – of monitoring YouTube onto the victims of its infringement,” Viacom said in a statement.
Raises the question which has been posed many a time before, who is responsible for the copyright of material on search engines? personally I think it would be very difficult for the search engines to police this (cant believe Im on their side!) but agree that they do have a certain responsibility to apply the appropriate filters to reduce it. It is an arguement which I cant see begin resolved any time soon and unless someone comes in and forces them to stop, google will continue to make money out of copyright material.
Microsoft has accused Google of adopting a ‘cavalier’ approach to copyright over the search engine giant’s use of books, films, music and TV programmes without permission, and criticised it for making millions of dollars from other people’s intellectual property.
In a speech to the Association of American Publishers, which will be held in New York later today, Tom Rubin, associate general counsel at Microsoft, is set to accuse Google of exploiting copyright and intellectual property through its search engine business.
Rubin will state: “Companies that create no content of their own, and make money solely on the backs of other people’s content, are raking in billions through advertising revenue and IPOs.
“Google takes the position that everything may be freely copied unless the copyright owner notifies Google and tells it to stop.”
Rubin will also defend Microsoft’s business practices by highlighting how it seeks copyright permission before using material created by a third party.
Google has come under fierce criticism in recent months from a host of media companies, including Viacom, which forced Google to remove over 100,000 of its video streams from YouTube.
Viacom join NBC Universal, which has accused Google of “only protecting copyright when it wants to”, and 20th Century Fox, which issued a subpoena to the search engine in January demanding it remove episodes of hit drama ’24’, starring Keifer Sutherland, from YouTube.
In the speech Rubin is set to accuse Google of, “bestowing upon itself the unilateral right to make entire copies of copyrighted books,” by publishing printed works online without permission.
Google has responded to the criticism by saying it only publishes extracts from books when it has the author’s permission. The company also said it generated $3.3bn in ad revenue last year, which it said proved it was not generating revenue from third party content.
Microsoft has recently sent letters to chief executives of large media companies, asking for support to stop internet piracy. The company now joins Walt Disney, News Corporation, Viacom and Time Warner in attacking Google’s use of third party content.