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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)

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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.

11:32 pm on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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""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..."

Again, your facts are plain wrong here. Take a look at the youtube homepage. I just did. See anything? Try clicking on a few videos. See any banner ads? Google has monetized a lot more than 1$ from the site. If you can't see the ads, you either need glasses or I'll simply reconsider my description of naive to idiot.

Google is not in the business of monetizing the crap out of everything. How many ads have ever been on google's homepage? (maybe a firefox upgrade here, a google checkout icon there). How many ads are on google images? Google Video? Google news maybe? No, perhaps Google movies?

This "precedence"? What precedence would that be? They are no better or worse than anyone else to insert advertising on user videos.

Perhaps it would be best if you cooled down with some juicy-juice. (pats nemesis on the head)

12:03 am on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Children, please!
12:08 am on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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welcome to WebmasterWorld, nemesis26!
2:12 am on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Well, look at www.watchtvsitcoms.com, they have a successful business model with many new television shows available for free. So I don't know why Viacom and YouTube can't work something out. Obviously, Viacom is just greedy and they can't win.
2:40 am on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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>> So I don't know why Viacom and YouTube can't work something out. Obviously, Viacom is just greedy and they can't win.

It's nice to hear from someone who was there during the negotiations. Thanks for sharing it with us.

6:45 am on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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How many ads have ever been on google's homepage? (maybe a firefox upgrade here, a google checkout icon there). How many ads are on google images? Google Video? Google news maybe?

Whoa! - The main reason we don't find ads on Google Images, Google Video, and Google News appears to be the same: legal problems galore.

Google Images - Imagine a page containing 99% copright protected artworks from photographers around the world, including many professionals. Imagine ads next to their photos. The outcry will be not as loud as the outcry for Youtube, but it will be heard.

Google Video - Another Youtube anyone?

Google News - As soon as Google places ads next to news stories from leading news sources (e.g. AP, AFP, Reuters), there will be an outcry that definitely will be heard. And these guys have even better media relations than Viacom or Google combined. They MAKE the news.

6:54 am on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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So I don't know why Viacom and YouTube can't work something out. Obviously, Viacom is just greedy and they can't win.

Err, no. Obviously Viacom is the owner of the intellectual property in question and is legally entitled to control the distribution of that content.

If they have other usage scenarios, services, distribution methods, or a higher price for that content in mind, the copyright law is on their side. THEY could even decide to give the content away for free on THEIR website if they wanted to (e.g. to generate traffic). This still would not give Youtube the right to do the same.

7:09 am on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Google is only a huge search engine with an excellent ad program "adwords" their only source of revenue and income.

Buying Youtube was only to block Yahoo from doing it, yahoo being a very well known brand for email, directory, music, shopping, and their powerful database of current yahoo users that G just started developing when using gmail, and video is an excellent stream from Yahoo as well which is why they wanted Youtube, so Google just said, well if they buy that and they monetize it, it could hurt us, so lets pay more, and see what we can do with it in the future...and the future is right now, a bunch of lawsuits from large firms who know that G has big pockets.
G, IMHO, is an excellent search engine and online marketing lab research, but we still have to see how well they manage their big pocket. Microsoft did it excellent concentrating and focusing their efforts to develop their own products that all programmers hate because they did develop it first, or because billy gates is too rich. Google has big pockets, and they need to prove investors that they can make money for them either with their own products (search engine, gmail, adwords, adsense, etc) or by buying other products and figuring out how to squeeze money out of them.

Personally, I think Youtube will be forgotten in a couple of years as a potential business to develop, it will still be live because you can upload your videos free, and who wants to use his own bandwidth to show those fundamentally useless videos...not me, but we all like free..."If that poison bottle is free of charge, you might not want to drink it, but you could sell it later at profit since it cost you nada" Would you sell space at your hosting site to show off a kid that jumps around like a monkey? You got the discovery channel for that...and one more thing I do own Google stock, but if adwords revenue keeps slowing down, I am out of there...

8:40 am on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Again, your facts are plain wrong here. Take a look at the youtube homepage. I just did. See anything? Try clicking on a few videos. See any banner ads? Google has monetized a lot more than 1$ from the site. If you can't see the ads, you either need glasses or I'll simply reconsider my description of naive to idiot.

I know that I surf from the UK but the only banner ads that I see are about Youtube itself.

2:41 pm on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I know that I surf from the UK but the only banner ads that I see are about Youtube itself.

Stateside i see verizon, MSN, Ebay, Tivo and countless other advertisers on gootoob.

I just double checked and sure enough a search for anything that is on tv yields more pages than i have time to go through.

What Google is doing is like giving credibility to Piratebay but not only allowing search to the videos but publishing the content so its nice and fast with ads & all.

2:50 pm on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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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.

You got it entirely wrong. Google isn't profitable at all with youtube, don't confuse Google search with Google Youtube. (Heck, Google as a whole is entirely over valued).

Youtube thrives entirely upon distributing copyrighted materials. To excuse the copyright owner from retaining rights simply because you choose to be blissfully ignorant of them is downright rediculous.

Viacom does go after limewire, torrents and other networks. It takes 2 seconds of searching google to see there methodologies for tracking the flow of copyrighted content as they and probably 5 dozen other companies do.

Google is so ripe for litigation because they're entirely over valued. litigation may be the best thing to happen to the market to bring everything "back down to earth".

Google most certainly doesn't deserve a free ride monetizing copyrighted material and i don't see how anything you state gives them the excuse to do so.

[edited by: ByronM at 2:51 pm (utc) on Mar. 15, 2007]

4:00 pm on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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ByronM,

I agree with you in all points, including overvaluation of GOOG.

However, I fail to see how a failure with Youtube could tear down Google stock. After all, aren't they legally separate companies? If something happens to Youtube, e.g. a lawsuit with a severe ruling, the maximum damage to Google is still a loss of $1.65B, their investment into Youtube. And this has been reflected in the market price for GOOG right after announcement of the deal.

Am I missing something?

4:18 pm on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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However, I fail to see how a failure with Youtube could tear down Google stock.

Bad management decisions can hurt stocks more than a monetary loss :-)

JAG

8:14 pm on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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""Whoa! - The main reason we don't find ads on Google Images, Google Video, and Google News appears to be the same: legal problems galore.
Google Images - Imagine a page containing 99% copright protected artworks from photographers around the world, including many professionals. Imagine ads next to their photos. The outcry will be not as loud as the outcry for Youtube, but it will be heard.
Google Video - Another Youtube anyone?
Google News - As soon as Google places ads next to news stories from leading news sources (e.g. AP, AFP, Reuters), there will be an outcry that definitely will be heard. And these guys have even better media relations than Viacom or Google combined. They MAKE the news. ""

This is untrue as well. Google images could easily put adsense there to complement revenue, only it would impair how google images looks and feels, whcih is why google has not done it. Same goes for google news. They could very easily put contextual ads there, but they choose not to. They are simpy pointing users to other articles, as many other websites do. Media relations are different than lawyers, although I do get your point.

"I know that I surf from the UK but the only banner ads that I see are about Youtube itself. "

Banner ads aren't the only source of revenue.

""

You got it entirely wrong. Google isn't profitable at all with youtube, don't confuse Google search with Google Youtube. (Heck, Google as a whole is entirely over valued).
Youtube thrives entirely upon distributing copyrighted materials. To excuse the copyright owner from retaining rights simply because you choose to be blissfully ignorant of them is downright rediculous.
Viacom does go after limewire, torrents and other networks. It takes 2 seconds of searching google to see there methodologies for tracking the flow of copyrighted content as they and probably 5 dozen other companies do.
Google is so ripe for litigation because they're entirely over valued. litigation may be the best thing to happen to the market to bring everything "back down to earth".
Google most certainly doesn't deserve a free ride monetizing copyrighted material and i don't see how anything you state gives them the excuse to do so. ""

Lets try to keep your personal opinions out of this and stick to the facts here. Blissfully ignorant you say? I wouldn't put google in that category. They comply with the requests of companies.

This quote I especially love ""Google is so ripe for litigation because they're entirely over valued.""

What does being overvalued have to do with litigation? You're just as ripe for litigation since you spell your name with a B. Overvalued is an opinion. Yours. Keep it that way. Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. It doesn't invite litigation any more than any smaller valued company "breaking the rules". We're on earth here. Have been for a while.

Nothing I state gives anyone any excuse to do anything.

8:41 pm on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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They comply with the requests of companies.

Big deal... companies like Viacom should not need to continually police the copyright breaches of a multibillion dollar corporation. If Google does not have the technology to even make a genuine attempt at preemptively removing copyrighted material, they should not be in the business of accepting video uploads - however, the simple fact is that they do have the technology. If Viacom can find its copyrighted material on YouTube, then the foremost search company on the planet that actually runs YouTube can hardly claim that it cannot.

Kaled.

rarethings55: please see [webmasterworld.com...]

8:51 pm on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Google images could easily put adsense there to complement revenue, only it would impair how google images looks and feels, which is why google has not done it.

Their search results would also look better withoutads, but last time I used Google (a few minutes ago) I could see ads on the top and to the right.

Same goes for google news. They could very easily put contextual ads there, but they choose not to. They are simpy pointing users to other articles, as many other websites do.

Technically, sure. They could just slap the Adsense code on, and voila - ads all over the place, probably even with a good targeting. So, why then did they choose not to? Why?

9:08 pm on Mar 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

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"Big deal... companies like Viacom should not need to continually police the copyright breaches of a multibillion dollar corporation. If Google does not have the technology to even make a genuine attempt at preemptively removing copyrighted material, they should not be in the business of accepting video uploads - however, the simple fact is that they do have the technology. If Viacom can find its copyrighted material on YouTube, then the foremost search company on the planet that actually runs YouTube can hardly claim that it cannot.
Kaled. "

I agree with you here. I think this is something they really need to be implementing at a faster rate. Maybe something along the lines of keyword-tagging videos that correlate to certain keywords, such as "comedy central". A 1B lawsuit is certainly no more incentive to pick up the pace. (in my opinion)

"Technically, sure. They could just slap the Adsense code on, and voila - ads all over the place, probably even with a good targeting. So, why then did they choose not to? Why?"

Same reason they don't do it for google images. It would ruin the feel of google news. I just stated it to counter a point made by nemesis26 where he said that google monetizes the CRAP out of everything they do. That is certainly no true. Also it would take users away from the actual news, and into other websites, which would run counter to what google news is all about.

7:39 am on Mar 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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[news.com.com...]

Viacom lawyer: YouTube knows it violates copyrights
"What that means is we've got to employ an army of people around the clock who do nothing but monitor YouTube, catalog those works, (send takedown requests)...and find out the next day that the works go back up," he said at a panel discussion here hosted by the Progress and Freedom Foundation, a free-market think tank.

Verrilli said work has also grown increasingly handicapped by a YouTube feature that allows users to create private groups to share videos, which cannot readily be monitored by outsiders."

Hey Brett, Viacom can afford good lawyers too :)

"But that interpretation leaves Viacom with an unfair burden, argued Verrilli, who also argued Hollywood's U.S. Supreme Court case against file-swapping service Grokster and is a partner at the Jenner & Block law firm. "

4:02 am on Mar 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Google's Grand Plan Scares Traditional Media

[delawareonline.com ]

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