Viacom sues Google for $1 Billion

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Corran Horn, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    #1
    yes, that's right $1 Billion Dollars

    $$$$$

    Wouldn't Dr. Evil be pleased?

    -Corran Horn
     
  2. macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland.
    #2
    Bound to happen eventually.

    The enormous amount of money paid for YouTube made little sense, considering it's biggest (only?) asset was the large number of users/amount of content. Unfortunately many of those users/much of that content are infringing on copyright.

    Expect a fairly hefty settlement.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    zephead

    Joined:
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    Location:
    in your pants
    #3
    I don't see how it's Google's fault that their users are uploading copyrighted content onto YouTube. They explicitly state that copyrighted stuff is not to be uploaded, and they remove copyrighted stuff and delete the infringing users on sight. YouTube IS a user-driven community, after all.

    I see how Dr. Evil would disagree with me though. :D
     
  4. macrumors 68040

    mattscott306

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    #4
    Meh, I forsee large settlement payments, and Youtube having to hire a larger monitoring staff, or possibly preview all videos before they post.
     
  5. macrumors 68040

    motulist

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    #5
    There's no merit to this case, it's just the result of the stupid copyright laws in this country. According to the law, if you don't vigorously go after people that might be violating your copyright, then you could lose your ownership of those properties. The only people that'll get paid from this lawsuit are the lawyers.
     
  6. macrumors regular

    4nr-

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Göteborg, Sweden
    #6
    Just another Hollywood attempt to control OUR internetz... Pathetic
     
  7. Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

    Joined:
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    The Centennial State
    #7
    Pretty much, they leave it up to the copyright owner to submit a complaint and then will remove the video. But if you think they are deleting infringing users on sight, you are not paying attention to the rampant amount of copyright violation that is taking place on YouTube.
     
  8. macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
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    #8
    Google bought the site in full knowledge its value is largely due to the huge amount of copyrighted content on it (or, the large number of users uploading or viewing copyrighted content).

    There's no way they'll get away with claiming ignorance or lack of culpability.
     
  9. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #9
    I agree that Google has not acted in good faith and that what was allowed to continue on YouTube was clearly wrong, but...I think the longer term impact of this is the sea change. Just like Napster changed the way people looked for music and iTunes and the other legitimate services (heh, okay, iTunes period) have had to come back and offer a legal alternative... YouTube changed the way we look for video. Even though it's 99.99% crap, I still use it as my first source when someone says "hey, did you see that commercial?" etc. So ultimately the end of this has to be that consumers want a service like this. Google just has to figure out how to make it work within the confines of the law.

    And if not Google... Joost is on their tail, as is Microsoft SoapBox. Developers, developers, developers, developers.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    #10
    You're thinking of trademark law. If you don't defend the trademarks you use in commerce, you could lose your right to those trademarks. You can register trademarks to help protect them for your use.

    You never lose your copyright to works that you create. They don't have to be registered or anything - your copyrights exist as soon as you create the work.
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    TheBobcat

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Location:
    East Lansing, Michigan
    #11
    God forbid someone catch a Daily Show sketch without Viacom getting $1.99 for it. Before you know it, Sumner Redstone will be in a cardboard box along some highway exit.
     
  12. Guest

    zblaxberg

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    #12
    now why doesn't this surprise me?
     
  13. macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
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    Location:
    CT
    #13
    This is the reason why CBS pulled out of the deal with YouTube. Now they can go back in and sue for some money.
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    echeck

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    #14
    CBS is Viacom.

    :)
     
  15. macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
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    #15
    Yes and no, CBS and Viacom were spun off separate but are still owned by the same company.
     
  16. macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    #16
    I don't get it though. What can YouTube do?

    That's like suing the city because drug dealers sell drugs while standing on city-owned sidewalks.

    YouTube users are abusing the system to post pirated content. YouTube shuts them down as soon as it becomes aware of it. YouTube tells users not to. But there's no way they can prevent it, it's impossible.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    San Francisco, CA
    #17
    Meh, add this to the ever growing pile of google lawsuits ;p

    I think google has a possible chance in fighting this one off though...
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    mustard

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    NJ
    #18
    Great Analogy - totally agree
     
  19. Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #19
    Your analogy is good.

    I do not understand how YouTube can be held accountable.

    This will be an interesting case to follow.
     
  20. macrumors 68040

    motulist

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    #20
    You're right, I was thinking of trademark, not copyright. I always mix those two up.
     
  21. macrumors 68000

    zephead

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    #21
    Exactly what I was trying to say, except you worded it a bit better. :D
     
  22. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #22
    Because Google/YouTube is profiting from the copyright infringements, which is why the analogy doesn't work. Google understood the risks when they bought YouTube. It's difficult to say how the suit would play out if it went to a verdict (the mostly untested DMCA being a critical factor), but I'll venture a guess that Viacom and Google come to an agreement to license and share revenue before it gets that far.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    #23
    But they don't profit. GooTube doesn't place advertising on pages with content unless they have a specific licensing agreement in place with the content owner.

    Google is going to rely on the "safe harbor" provisions of the DMCA for service providers. They will argue that they have no control or knowledge of what is posted on their site and that they act with all due haste when presented with a DMCA violation notice. Viacom will try to show that Google is aware of the copyright violations and that they are trying to obfuscate or hinder the ability of content providers to notify them of DMCA violations.
     
  24. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
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    #24
    Advertising along with the videos is the default. If YouTube could, and did, prevent copyrighted material from being uploaded by non-owners, then Viacom would not have case against them. Any licensing agreed to by the content uploader isn't valid if they don't actually own the content. Even Google/YouTube acknowledges that they only remove infringing content at the request of the owner, meaning, from the time it's uploaded until the time it's deleted, YouTube is collecting advertising revenue from it. This is the basis of Viacom's suit. Of course Google has a counter-argument, but in the end, I don't think either side really wants to test any of the provisions of the DMCA.
     
  25. macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #25
    Well Napster was just hosting the content too and that got shut down. The difference is Google is much bigger then Napster and will be able to fight it better.

    To be honest I think this is a money grab by Viacom, Didn't they pull out of a deal with YouTube. Now they are going to claim that YouTube is stealing and they want a big pay out. I think this was a planned attack by Viacom.
     

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