Google, YouTube hit with $1B copyright suit

Viacom claims thousands of unauthorized video clips can be viewed on YouTube

Media company Viacom International is suing online video provider YouTube and its parent company, Google, for more than US$1 billion, saying the companies are infringing on Viacom's copyrights because almost 160,000 unauthorized video clips are available for viewing on YouTube.

New York-based Viacom also said it is seeking an injunction prohibiting Google and YouTube from further copyright infringement. Google acquired YouTube in October for US$1.65 billion.

The 27-page lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that thousands of unauthorized clips of Viacom's programming have been viewed on YouTube more than 1.5 billion times.

In a statement e-mailed by a company spokesman, Google said it hasn't yet received the lawsuit but is "confident that YouTube has respected the legal rights of copyright holders and believe the courts will agree."

"YouTube is great for users and offers real opportunities to rights holders: the opportunity to interact with users; to promote their content to a young and growing audience; and to tap into the online advertising market. We will certainly not let this suit become a distraction to the continuing growth and strong performance of YouTube and its ability to attract more users, more traffic and build a stronger community," the statement said.

Viacom, in its statement said, "YouTube is a significant, for-profit organization that 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."

"Their 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. In fact, YouTube's strategy has been to avoid taking proactive steps to curtail the infringement on its site, thus generating significant traffic and revenues for itself while shifting the entire burden -- and high cost -- of monitoring YouTube onto the victims of its infringement," Viacom stated.

Viacom said it filed the suit "after a great deal of unproductive negotiation" and that "YouTube continues in its unlawful business model." Last month, the company demanded that YouTube remove more than 100,000 of Viacom's video clips from its site.

"There is no question that YouTube and Google are continuing to take the fruit of our efforts without permission and destroying enormous value in the process," Viacom said. "Therefore, we must turn to the courts to prevent Google and YouTube from continuing to steal value from artists and to obtain compensation for the significant damage they have caused."

A Viacom spokesman said the company has no comment beyond the press release and lawsuit.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Todd R. Weiss

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?