free html hit counter Look, I've Tried to Only Threaten To Sue... - John Battelle's Search Blog

Look, I've Tried to Only Threaten To Sue…

By - March 13, 2007

…clearly, Viacom’s takedown orders were not enough. The process of negotiation-by-lawsuit has begun.

WSJ, Slashdot, Seeking Alpha (Henry Blodget), more Seeking Alpha

And here’s Google’s emailed PR response:

“We have not received the lawsuit but are 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.”

And an updated statement from Google, attributed to Kent Walker, general counsel

“YouTube has become even more popular since we took down Viacom’s material. We think that’s a testament to the draw of the user-generated content on YouTube. We’ve been very successful forging thousands of successful partnerships with content owners — like Warner Music, Sony/BMG, Universal Music, BBC, and the NBA — interested in finding new audiences for their programming. These partnerships offer the YouTube community access to some of the best content in the world, ranging from entertainment and sports to politics and news. And we’re only getting started.”

And ResourceShelf has the actual complaint here.

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7 thoughts on “Look, I've Tried to Only Threaten To Sue…

  1. JoeDuck says:

    We will certainly not let this suit become a distraction …

    Ha! We keep a billion under our frickin’ massage chair mattresses!

  2. Hiroko says:

    When YouTube was just a coupld guys in a garage, Viacom was happy to let its performers get free publicity to attrach viewers. Now that they smell money, they want a cut of it, just like Universal wants a cut of iPod sales.

    Viacom’s business isn’t content, it’s selling eyeballs to advertisers. They couldn’t care less who watches the programming, as long as people watch the ads. Remember when Turner’s CEO claimed that bathroom breaks were theft? Viacom seems to be following in their footsteps…

    Personally, I’m glad someone’s willing to stand up to the old media mafia.

  3. MikeM says:

    Epic battle developing and Google is going to lose. They will be forced into a profit sharing plan with content providers. The larger media content folks like Viacom will be able to dictate terms. I think Google has no idea who they are dealing with here.
    They got one over on written content but video is alot like music and that game has been played to an end we all know.

  4. Dempsey says:

    “but video is a lot like music and that game has been played to an end we all know.”

    Really? Illegal downloads of music has stopped? I need to start getting up earlier in the morning.

  5. Hiroko says:

    Profit sharing, MikeM? YouTube doesn’t run a profit for Google, it loses money (something that’s being glossed over in most press coverage of all this). Profit sharing would fit Google’s business model just fine, I suspect–just take a look at AdSense. Protection money (“pay us X or we’ll sue”) is another matter.

  6. Manu Sharma says:

    This suit was long time due. I don’t see Google winning this one and they deserve to lose. You can’t abuse copyrights blatantly and get away with it saying that “users are going to do it anyway and the media companies should accept it.” How do you reward people who create content if you don’t respect copyrights?

    YouTube acquisition was a big mistake in the first place.

  7. Mike says:

    Dempsey, last I heard you had to pay to get music legally off the net. You can rip and share all you want but you never know when that lawsuit by the Gestapo music lawyers will deliver the legal complaint to your doorstep.
    Hiroko it’s AdSense I was referring to and the video content providers should get the favorable percentage.