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March 14, 2007

Viacom sues Google + Youtube for $1 Billion

Not too long ago, Google bought YouTube for $1.6 Billion. After that, YouTube is getting swarmed with complaints and lawsuits. Just now, MTV’s owner Viacom is going after Google+YouTube.

Viacom Inc. said Tuesday it has sued YouTube and its corporate parent Google Inc. in federal court for alleged copyright infringement and is seeking more than $1 billion in damages.

Viacom claims that the more than 160,000 unauthorized video clips from its cable networks, which also include Comedy Central, VH1 and Nickelodeon, have been available on the popular video-sharing Web site.

The lawsuit marks a sharp escalation of long-simmering tensions between Viacom and YouTube. Last month Viacom demanded that YouTube remove more than 100,000 unauthorized clips after several months of talks between the companies broke down.

Had Google not bought YouTube, I don’t think Viacom would have filed this lawsuit. That $1 billion in damages is almost two-thirds of the total value of the video sharing service.

YouTube is getting to be a huge burden for the search giant. They should calculated the “risk of lawsuits” and factored that in the acquisition value.


11 Responses to “Viacom sues Google + Youtube for $1 Billion”

  1. Allie says:

    I agree, it sounds like YouTube is going to cost a lot more than 1.6 Billion. This was definitely a pretty risky purchase, as Mark Cuban noted when it happened.

    I think YouTube, being a source of so much piracy, has scared a lot of content creators. They have yet to really embrace the web, even though it’s obvious that cable-bypass, on demand, “over the top service is the future.

    Maybe this lawsuit will scare off other violators, and get things on track.

    – Allie

  2. Gwapito.com says:

    Now the former owner(s) of Youtube are laughing while watching the news on their beds covered 1 billion dollars they got from Google.

  3. Alex says:

    Maybe that’s why former Tube owners cashed in on their stocks. Now they’re safely out. Great move for those guys.

    Maybe Viacom’s just pissed because Google is now defining what’s cool instead of MTV.

  4. jhay says:

    Yup, YouTube is the MTV in today’s ‘new media’ world. Maybe they should just hire the YouTube directors to make music videos instead.

    They may win the billion-dollar lawsuit, but in the long run, Google will still make lots of money out of YouTube.

  5. Jonas Diego says:

    I agree with Jhay. Google is going to make more money outta YouTube in the longrun but they really got to find some way around the copyright infringement brouhaha because if VIACOM does win the lawuit, you’re gonna see other companies with real or imagined similar issues lining up with lawsuits themselves hoping to get a piece of the action.

  6. =====
    Gwapito.com says:

    Now the former owner(s) of Youtube are laughing while watching the news on their beds covered 1 billion dollars they got from Google.
    =====

    Not $1 billion, just a little less than $400 million. ;)

    I read before that the 2 YouTube guys sold more than $326 million of Google shares in February. The rest are still held as Google shares. A million dollars is already too much for most of us, but three-hundred-(f-word-here)-million-dollars? Whoa.

    These YouTube guys are probably thinking, ‘Whatever. Even if Google takes down YouTube or YouTube pays whatever Viacom wants, I’m going home with my hundred million dollars.’

  7. Add: $326 million .. for now. Of course, anytime from today they can sell more Google shares and pocket more cash.

    @gwapito.com, the YouTube owners still own YouTube, they are not “former” owners.

  8. Jam
    Twitter: iamjammed
    says:

    Yeah, I would agree that Google, itself, was the main reason why they sued the search giant. YouTube was not a good investment for Google after all.

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Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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