March 14, 2007

YouTube & Google Meet Their Match?

YouTube’s end game nears by ZDNet's Larry Dignan -- Viacom's $1 billion lawsuit against Google's YouTube kicks off what could be the end game for the video sharing site. Viacom filed a complaint in the Southern District of New York that alleges a "massive intentional copyright infringement of Viacom's entertainment properties." Viacom seeks $1 billion in damages and an injunction prohibiting Google and YouTube [...]

Information (and entertainment) may 'want to be free,' as so many people seem to believe, but today's copyright laws allow compensation beyond 'fair use.' Argue with the laws, if you want, but they exist to protect the opportunity for a creator/owner to profit from their work and not be ripped off, even in the Internet age.

My guess is that Viacom has a good case here and the outcome will most likely be a settlement with YouTube becoming a pay as you go service for media companies that decide to use them as a distribution channel. I think Viacom and other media companies would prefer to be paid for sharing their content rather than be paid in a lawsuit. The issue is one of price, terms and conditions. Isn't it always?

Charles Cooper over at CNET expresses essentially the same view in much stronger language.
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