Viacom, the parent company of MTV, is suing Google for $1 Billion in damages brought about via alleged copyright violations as Viacom claims that its material was illegally uploaded and distrubted via Google & YouTube.
Viacom made a statement today saying that YouTube has “built a lucrative business out of exploiting the devotion of fans to others’ creative works in order to enrich itself and its corporate parent Google.”
Viacom said YouTube’s business model, “which is based on building traffic and selling advertising off of unlicensed content, is clearly illegal and is in obvious conflict with copyright laws.”
Greg Sterling of Screenwerk adds :
Viacom, as a kind of standard bearer for traditional media, seeks to strike a powerful blow against the new media interloper.
This is operatic legal theater. And I now don’t believe that Viacom is “negotiating” with Google at this point. Viacom seems emboldened by its defiance and claims its various online properties are doing well since its traffic was removed from YouTube.
In one legalistic way of looking at the world, what Viacom is seeking to do in getting an injunction makes some sense if it has decided to quit YouTube. But you also get the sense that the company (or the legal department) has irrational, vindictive motives (”We’re going to make those bastards pay; they built that site on our backs!”) for filing the litigation.