Viacom is officially suing Google for $1 Billion, for intentional copyright infringement by their recent acquisition, YouTube.com. We all know how I feel about Google. But some may also recall how Viacom recently rankled my ire by pulling all of their content off YouTube. Now I don’t know who to side with.
However, I have to ask exactly how Viacom figures that 1.5 billion views of their 160,000 clips HURTS their company? Where I work, it is generally considered a good thing if your video is all over YouTube. All that aside, though, my biggest problem with Viacom here is their hypocrisy on this issue. Viacom regularly seeds content onto YouTube themselves. Hardly a day goes by when there isn’t a Viacom clip promoted on the top video section of YouTube. So what are you saying, Viacom? It’s okay for you to put up a 3 minute clip of Craig Ferguson, but if a sixteen-year-old from Schenectady does it, you can sue for absurd amounts of money? And how exactly do you assess damages of a billion dollars from a site who provides free content and does not directly compete with your television stations?
On the other hand, I would like to say, screw Google. I hope they both lose, and have to pay me the billion dollars.
Here is a clip of Chris Rock paying tribute to the dearly departed Ricahrd Jeni, that Viacom will surely pull down in a matter of minutes. Enjoy it while you can!
** Disclaimer: I used to work for Viacom-owned Showtime Networks, although clearly I harbor no residual love from the $600 per month paycheck they so generously bestowed upon me.