Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The $1billion dollar threat to YouTube

Viacom appears to have run out of patience with YouTube/Google and is now suing for $1 billion over 'massive intentional copyright infringement'.

Viacom says (full story on the Beeb site)

"YouTube's strategy has been to avoid taking proactive steps to curtail the infringement on its site. There is no question that YouTube and Google are continuing to take the fruit of our efforts without permission."

"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."

Tough to argue with - though GooTube says its confident it has multiple legs to stand on.

Viacom claims there are as many as 160,000 unauthorised clips it owns being shown on youtube.

What isn't clear is how many of those are just straightforward clips - and which have had someone else's creative touch (eg a mash-up of the recently lauded Dragon's Den vs X Factor).

Who gets to own those? Who gets what share of the revenue, as I asked at the time of google's purchase of youtube.

Copying stuff straight off the TV really isn't in the spirit of web 2.0.

But an injunction (and that's what threatened) against YouTube could prevent an awful lot of inspirational and co-created content from being shared. And that certainly ain't in the spirit either.


The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?