Viacom vs. GooTube

Everybody is writing about how Viacom is suing YouTube for $1,000,000,000… a hefty sum, obviously. Clearly YouTube needs to pay up. How dare they give Viacom channels and TV shows SO MUCH free publicity (over 1.5 billion views worth)? Please note the use of sarcasm.

Some of the related Interweb commentary includes:

Since this news have become public, most of the Viacom content on YouTube has been eliminated, and is now accessible through Viacom’s website (which does a piss-poor job of hosting the content through a fantastically crappy player interface… check out the embedded video from Colbert report in this Make post).

This lawsuit should surprise no one though… If I recall correctly, something like 500 million of the GooTube deal had been earmarked exclusively for hiring lawyers and paying off companies like Viacom. Honestly, if everybody knows that Google set aside 500 million to pay people off, wouldn’t it make sense for ANY company that holds a copyright on YouTube content to file a lawsuit?

I suspect that the Google people may be counting on protection offered by digital liability laws to pull their 500 million pieces of bacon out of the fire.


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