Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 18.206.194.83

Forum Moderators: goodroi

Message Too Old, No Replies

Viacom sues YouTube for $1 billion

Suit accuses Google of 'massive copyright infringement' of Viacom's assets

     
1:51 pm on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

joined:May 21, 2002
posts:762
votes: 0


Media conglomerate Viacom said Tuesday it filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Google and its Internet video sharing site YouTube over unauthorized use of its copyrighted entertainment.

[money.cnn.com...]

added a better link.

9:14 pm on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 28, 2005
posts:552
votes: 0


I think that Viacom has a huge hurdle here.

The law protects the operators of bulletin boards and similar entities (gotta imagine youtube would be a similar enterprise to a bulletin board) from liability resulting from republishing submissions from third parties.

That's the law that insulates me as a forum operator from the liability of what my members post. Don't confuse that with fair use.

(re: fair use: Commercial use does not in and of itself eliminate fair use as a valid defense; Google clearly earns money republishing snippets of content from websites, because it provides an index to such content which CLEARLY is in the public interest.)

As long as Google makes a good-faith effort to prevent copyright infringement and removes offending material brought to its attention I don't see how Viacom could prevail, unless they set precedent again going to the Supreme Court and having the interpretation of the shield laws revised, but that's just me and my lay interpretation.

[edited by: RonS at 9:16 pm (utc) on Mar. 13, 2007]

9:23 pm on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from ES 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 13, 2005
posts:700
votes: 12


If this lawsuit falls through then I'm creating a large ftp server and hosting every copyrighted application and movie ever created. Then I'll load adsense. Maybe Google will buy it.

Will you sell some stocks? (I just don't understand how exactly works Adsense for FTP but... who knows.)

9:37 pm on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Full Member from US 

10+ Year Member

joined:July 12, 2000
posts:323
votes: 4


Wonder if they will settle for a $200,000,000 down payment

"SAN FRANCISCO - Google Inc. has set aside more than $200-million in its just-completed takeover of YouTube Inc. to cover possible losses on the deal, creating a financial cushion that might protect the Internet search leader if it's hit with legal bills for the frequent copyright violations on YouTube's video-sharing site."

Published November 15, 2006

AP [sptimes.com]

9:59 pm on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 28, 2005
posts:552
votes: 0


Notice it says "Legal Bills" and not "settlements". I wonder if that reporter was paraphrasing Google's intent or if they just made it up. Because that phrase says that Google intends to spend $200 Million to defend YouTube. If it was a paraphrasing of Google's intent? Good luck, Viacom.

Too bad for Napster that they didn't have deep pockets to hire an attorney with a better defense theory than "Samplin'" David Boies.

[edited by: RonS at 10:02 pm (utc) on Mar. 13, 2007]

12:59 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Jan 25, 2004
posts:1068
votes: 9


As long as Google makes a good-faith effort to prevent copyright infringement and removes offending material brought to its attention

This is the very crux of the matter; they are not doing anything to “prevent” it. The question becomes can Google go forth with a business model that has as its basis that they can just shrug their shoulders when someone uploads copyright material, on their platform, and say “hey wasn’t us, if you don’t like it let us know and we’ll tell remove it”.

I think this thing will get settled because it’s in everyone’s best interest. But, that defense of “I’m insulated because someone else actually posted it”, may fly for a lot of situations like discussion boards ect, but in this instance it’s a little weak. Google is in fact making money off of copy righted material; you can’t get away from that.

“Tell us and we’ll take it down”? How about upload it, we’ll review it to see if its copy righted and then if it’s clear we’ll post it; then we can make money off it. Google has been making an incredible amount of money basically off of other people’s material. So far it’s a bit of a symbiotic relationship. Personally I don’t mind them caching material off of my sites because I make money of it. But you have to admit this situation is a bit aggressive.

1:30 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 2, 2005
posts:52
votes: 0


Oh boy. Where do I start? I suppose the jounrney of a thousand miles begins with a nice gar and plenty of gas.

"Then what was all the posturing to get YouTube to remove 100k videos a month ago? Seems like sour grapes on ViaComs part. They can't monitize their own content and resent anyone who can? "

Exactly. Viacom is mad that the new kid is better, more popular and more profitable at their core business. Viacom feels threatened, and what do they do? They send their army of minions after google. Sure google removed all of their videos from the site. Can google police every user? Can anyone police the entire world? I find it very curious that Viacom doesn't go after, say, Limewire, or any other P2P networks acivetly sharing their content on a large scale. The entire lawsuit is absurd.

1:51 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 19, 2005
posts:367
votes: 0


According to news reports Google and Viacom were in negotiations regarding payment for the right to use copyright material. Similar arrangements have been made with other multi media corps.

Apparently negotiations broke down and Viacom responded with a lawsuit. It seems there is more to this story than meets the eye at the moment.

1:52 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

joined:Dec 29, 2003
posts:5428
votes: 0


>> Viacom is mad that the new kid is better, more popular and more profitable at their core business. Viacom feels threatened, and what do they do?

if this was sarcasm, it would actually be funny. You do realize that the "new kid" is popular with Viacom's copyrighted content, don't you? Did Viacom spend hundreds of millions so the "new kid" can make money of it? Nope! The fact that they tried to settle before means nothing.

2:14 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 5, 2006
posts:2095
votes: 2


They were in negotiations with viacom, it broke down cause google low balled them.

Plain and simple, this is big business. Keep in mind, viacom does not need google to distribute content. But google does need them to place millions of ads everyday on You Tube. That is what viacom is thinking.

When negotiations broke down, google agreed to remove the content which was 100,000 videos. Since negotiations broke down, Viacom found 50,000 more videos on You Tube that were newly posted. I am more than sure Viacom feels Google is not making a good faith effort.

Here is a good article to read on this issue:

[biz.yahoo.com...]

2:41 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 27, 2004
posts:1991
votes: 74


-----As long as Google makes a good-faith effort to prevent copyright infringement and removes offending material brought to its attention --------

Ye, AHA, My ... I got an auto reply from them today after my copetitor used My Descripion Metatag and 2 first sentences of my home page that describe my company to wrap around a nice Ads by Gooooogle.
"Oh no, we are just a provider of information, not a mediator."

3:29 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:May 2, 2004
posts:211
votes: 0


it is amazing to me how google can keep nipples off of youtube, but when it comes to copyrighted content you have to tell them about it.

and as for Viacom - I guarantee you the traffic to comedy central and their other sites has spiked this month thanks to no more youtube....

4:28 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 2, 2005
posts:52
votes: 0


"if this was sarcasm, it would actually be funny. You do realize that the "new kid" is popular with Viacom's copyrighted content, don't you? Did Viacom spend hundreds of millions so the "new kid" can make money of it? Nope! The fact that they tried to settle before means nothing."

The fact that they tried to settle before does mean nothing. Youtube most certainly does not need Viacom. Look at their most viewed videos. Viacom's clips aren't where they are pulling their heavy revenue from. They can't be responsible for policing every user. This is the user's fault, not google's. It isn't google who is putting this stuff up. I found out an interesting fact the other day as well. Guess who owns IFILM?

A. Viacom
B. Viacom

Take your pick.

IFILM is clearly nowhere near youtube in terms of popularity, userbase, videos, (etc.). Could this have anything to do with it? No, of course not.

The new kid is popular with or without viacom's videos. As a matter of fact that whole viacom removal also took a lot of other vidoes with it that Viacom had no control over, prompting many users to lose their youtube content. I don't know whether or not google lowballed them, but it's irrelevant, and I doubt it as well.

7:13 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 10, 2005
posts:497
votes: 0


Since ages TV and Radio Stations, Nightclubs, Supermarkets, Elevators are reproducing material that is subject to copyrights.

youtube and similar sites are just another platform and they will have to adapt to the very same rules and structures.

They would simply have to incorporate explicit agreements with their uploading partners/clients that will hold them 100% liable for any copyright infringement, fine or compensation paid to the original owners of the uploaded material.

In addition youtube and similar sites will have to intensify their efforts to get more professionaly and legaly produced videos to become real networks.

9:29 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sem4u is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 18, 2002
posts:3084
votes: 4


Youtube most certainly does not need Viacom. Look at their most viewed videos. Viacom's clips aren't where they are pulling their heavy revenue from. They can't be responsible for policing every user. This is the user's fault, not google's. It isn't google who is putting this stuff up.

Youtube should be resposible for policing their own site, don't you think? After all they are hosting copyrighted materials on their servers without permission. If Youtube were really serious about preventing copyrited videos from being uploaded they would check each one first. Of course this won't happen as it would slow growth, annoy users, etc.

1:08 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 14, 2007
posts:6
votes: 0


The "X-Factor" here is *intent*

Whether Google is protected by the DMCA is irrelevant.

The intrinsic principle that Viacom will be required to prove is the alleged INTENT of Google having violated its copyrighted material by not removing it.

Theoretically, it can swing either way.

Intent - by default - is very difficult to prove in court. And yet, if Viacom has copiously documented each of its requests to remove content from YouTube on an item-by-item basis - and can prove that the content was NOT removed in a reasonable or timely manner, they have a case.

It's damned naive (and immature) of people to think that a billion dollar lawsuit is inconsequential to Google. Even if Viacom settles, every content owner in the world will be crawling out of the walls to get a piece of the settlement precedent.

A billion here, a billion there - it all adds up. It never seems to go as far as you think it should these days ;-)

Google has yet to meaningfully monetize its YouTube content. And if there is ANY dark cloud perpetually hanging over its business practices, Google will have an exceedingly difficult time justifying how the $1.6 billion acquisition of a video portal (whose first legitimate upload was a cat flushing a toilet) ever made viable business sense.

2:07 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 2, 2007
posts:31
votes: 0


it is amazing to me how google can keep nipples off of youtube, but when it comes to copyrighted content you have to tell them about it.

Great point. It's not like they're not screening the videos at all before they go up. Maybe they just need to adapt that process to include screening for copyrighted material. I'm not saying that it would be easy, but new business=new responsibility.

2:13 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sem4u is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 18, 2002
posts:3084
votes: 4


I believe that they are working on technology to automatically screen for copyrighted material. Quite how this would work I don't know.
2:33 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:May 3, 2006
posts:13
votes: 0


Leave the nipples and remove the copyrighted material. :-)
3:40 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Junior Member from PE 

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 28, 2004
posts:145
votes: 1


So, so far the actual cost of buying YouTube is $1.65 billion plus $1 billion from the Viacom sue, plus we have to wait from other sues for using content owned by other firms.

Yahoo got luck when it was outbid by Google.

Had I bought YouTobe, a poor sorry guy from south florida, Viacom would not even bother for all the free publicity gettin g from me, but Google being a huge stock market company will be in many of these ordeals.

4:15 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 5, 2006
posts:2095
votes: 2


Depending on how the lawsuit is ruled, it might open the door to lawsuits against adsense sites that scrape copywrited material as well. Pay close attention to this one. Pandora's box is opening....
5:51 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 2, 2005
posts:52
votes: 0


"So, so far the actual cost of buying YouTube is $1.65 billion plus $1 billion from the Viacom sue, plus we have to wait from other sues for using content owned by other firms.
Yahoo got luck when it was outbid by Google.
Had I bought YouTobe, a poor sorry guy from south florida, Viacom would not even bother for all the free publicity gettin g from me, but Google being a huge stock market company will be in many of these ordeals"

Not quite. So far the cost of buying Youtube was 1.65B and let's leave it at that.

Yahoo didn't get lucky. They could have bidded higher. Google got lucky when Youtube agreed to sell.

I'm sure Viacom would come after you for the same reasons.

6:49 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 19, 2007
posts:487
votes: 0


I think it is absurd to say Google can't screen videos before they
load them on to You Tube.

They sure as hell give Adwords sites a going over. If we don't cross
our T's and dot our i's, we get spun off into oblivion. Should
be able to scan and crawl videos with some kind of algorithms.
Just my take. King Fisher

7:30 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 14, 2007
posts:6
votes: 0


"I'm sure Viacom would come after you for the same reasons."

HARDLY.

In the words of Mark Cuban (who himself is an ass):

"Anyone who buys that company [YouTube] is a moron. They only reason they haven't been sued, is because there's nothing to sure for."

Enter Google - the largest internet icon in the world.

Have at it, boys -(i.e. every wannabe copyright lawyer in existence).

8:29 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 2, 2007
posts:31
votes: 0


The thing that gets me about the approach that you have to notify them before they remove copyrighted material is this:

Why should any company have to divert any of their efforts toward policing other people's business? Viacom didn't invent YouTube. Viacom didn't buy YouTube. Why should Viacom be responsible for anything that YouTube does.
It seems to me that the manpower needed to check hundereds of thousands of videos should be provided by the people making the profit from the service.
Maybe GooTube should start hiring up and getting people in there to watch YouTube videos all day. I don't think that job would be as fun as it sounds, but it would certainly help the economy at least a little. Unless they outsource, of course. :(

9:58 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 2, 2005
posts:52
votes: 0


""I'm sure Viacom would come after you for the same reasons."
HARDLY.

In the words of Mark Cuban (who himself is an ass):

"Anyone who buys that company [YouTube] is a moron. They only reason they haven't been sued, is because there's nothing to sure for."

Enter Google - the largest internet icon in the world.

Have at it, boys -(i.e. every wannabe copyright lawyer in existence)."

Why don't you put together a large website. For the purpose of this post, let's call it, I don't know, a video sharing site where anyone can upload their own videos. Have users put as many viacom videos on your website and let's see if Viacom goes after you. Viacom would go after anyone who has that many videos on their site. Your statement is not well-thought out here.

Mark knows a thing or two about selling big media companies. To quote an anonymous poster "how's broadcast.com doing these days? Last I checked it simply redirects to yahoo.com"

Youtube was an excellent buy.

Your statement is as contradictory as it is naive.

10:08 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Administrator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month

joined:Sept 21, 1999
posts:38255
votes: 113


What is the difference between Napster and YouTube?

The only major difference is Napster didn't actually host the tunes.

10:48 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 14, 2007
posts:6
votes: 0


"Youtube was an excellent buy."

...An "excellent buy" (at $1.65 Billion?!?) that presently brings with it a billion dollar lawsuit by a major media mongul.

-- And now invites how many others? NBC? CBS? Fox? [Insert your preferred record label and/or movie studio here] - all of which are dissatisfied with Google/YouTube's copyright monitoring policy.

I'd love to share in whatever you're smoking. The naive factor is yours, my friend.

11:10 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 14, 2007
posts:6
votes: 0


"The only major difference is Napster didn't actually host the tunes."

Good point... and Napster *still* went down in flames.

Napster was a true litmus test of the DMCA for legal precedence.

Napster wasn't responsible for the content TRANSFERRED -- they never hosted any copyrighted material.

Instead, they were held responsible for the process.

Google/YouTube hosts the copyrighted content. MUCH worse. This is shaping up to be a Yahoo/Broadcast.com folley for Google.

Hey, I guess everyone has the right to make a (multi)-Billion dollar mistake once in a while. ;-)

11:14 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 2, 2005
posts:52
votes: 0


""Youtube was an excellent buy."
...An "excellent buy" (at $1.65 Billion?!?) that presently brings with it a billion dollar lawsuit by a major media mongul.

-- And now invites how many others? NBC? CBS? Fox? [Insert your preferred record label and/or movie studio here] - all of which are dissatisfied with Google/YouTube's copyright monitoring policy.

I'd love to share in whatever you're smoking. The naive factor is yours, my friend."

I don't know where you get your misinformed facts from, not that it matters.

I'm going to upgrade my remark from excellent to amazing. Youtube was one of the smartest buys that google has ever made. I won't even laugh at your (intentional?) misspelling of mogul to "mongul". Viacom clearly wants a larger cut of profits, and brigs with it a ridiculous lawsuit. I heard a while ago that donald trump sued two journalists for XX billions. The number here is irrelevant.

And now invites how many others? NBC cut a deal with youtube. CBS cut a deal with youtube. Even fox cut deals with youtube. Sure, their copyright monitoring could be better, but their still not liable for their user's actions. They are responsible for doing their part, which they have.

I take back my previous comment. You're not naive, you're simply not well-informed and factual.

11:24 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 14, 2007
posts:6
votes: 0


"Youtube was one of the smartest buys that google has ever made."

Google has yet to monetize one dollar from the $1.6 billion acquisition of YouTube.

And, Google is in the business of monetizing the crap out of EVERYTHING they do.

Do you seriously think that this precedence renders the Google sales staff *better* positioned to insert advertising on the YouTube catalog of "user" videos?

Have another drink...

This 79 message thread spans 3 pages: 79
 

Join The Conversation

Moderators and Top Contributors

Hot Threads This Week

Featured Threads

Free SEO Tools

Hire Expert Members