Media giant Viacom, the parent company of networks like MTV, Comedy Central and the Cartoon Network, put the smack down today suing Google and YouTube for “massive intentional copyright infringement.” Viacom has been fighting with YouTube for some time over clips of Viacom programs and shows that end up on the site, and is now asking for $1 billion in damages. As we all know, Google bought YouTube recently for 1.65 billion, so $1 billion isn't exactly chump change. Here's more:
Viacom accused the video-sharing Web site of “exploiting the devotion of fans to others’ creative work in order to enrich itself.” It added: “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.”
The lawsuit is the latest scuffle between YouTube and Viacom. Last month, Viacom demanded that YouTube remove more than 100,000 clips of its programming. YouTube complied, and in some cases posted a disclaimer that read: “removed at the request of Viacom International” where Viacom material once was.
Viacom said 160,000 clips of its programming have been available on YouTube and that they had been viewed more than 1.5 billion times. Somewhere, Austin Powers is getting really excited about the return of the "1 billion dollars."