Viacom demands its videos removed from YouTube

Viacom told Google to remove over 100,000 of its clips from YouTube, the latest copyright-related flap for the popular video-sharing site

Media conglomerate Viacom International on Friday upbraided YouTube for continuing to host throngs of Viacom videos without permission and demanded that over 100,000 of its clips be removed from the popular video-sharing site owned by Google.

Viacom, whose properties include MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures, ran out of patience after months of discussions with Google and YouTube, the company said in a statement.

"It has become clear that YouTube is unwilling to come to a fair market agreement that would make Viacom content available to YouTube users," the statement reads.

YouTube and Google have failed to deliver efficient filtering tools, so that "vast amounts" of unauthorized Viacom video exist on the video-sharing site, the company said.

YouTube acknowledged receiving a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) request from Viacom to remove the videos. "It's unfortunate that Viacom will no longer be able to benefit from YouTube's passionate audience which has helped to promote many of Viacom's shows," YouTube said in a statement, adding that it will comply with the request

Viacom's move is the latest from copyright owners who are upset over the unauthorized uploading and streaming of their videos on YouTube, which is one of the most popular Web sites in the world.

Viacom's action could establish a precedent and have serious consequences for YouTube, which would see its value to users and advertisers shrink, IDC said in a research note. "If Google and media companies cannot come to an agreement on the fair market value of content, Google may be left with the long tail of content -- paying the hosting and streaming costs for a huge catalog of content, each piece of which does not drive much traffic, wrote analysts Rachel Happe and Susan Feldman.

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Juan Carlos Perez

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