Viacom: “One Beeeeelion Dollars”

Viacom sues YouTube for “One Beeeelion Dollars” reports the whole world on Techmeme. Yes, too late John, too late.

I realize that Google has deep pockets, but trying to fight the intrawebs is going to be a tough battle. My CEO John Furrier has some interesting takes on this, he even talked to some folks at Google, read his post on the topic. In the comments section, John suggests the following: “If I was Viacom I’d be using the new technology to extend their franchises not use their resources fighting an already rising tide.”

  • Viacom is probably trying to set a precedent, one that would allow them (and other) traditional media outlets more power & control over where their content is & allow them to share in revenue generated by sites profiting off of their content (content that was paid for by the traditional media outlets).

    This issue is way more complex than a rising tide…

    Note: I don’t entirely like this because I’ve worked with some of the folks at YouTube in my PayPal days. I am not, however, shocked that this has happened. I am also not sure if I like how Viacom is approaching the matter.

  • I actually think that Viacom suing YouTube is a sensible strategy for Viacom (even if it is distateful).

    I highly doubt that they’ll win a billion dollar settlement, but it is just as clear that YouTube uses dont-ask-dont-tell policy on copyrighted content to cement its dominance in streaming video. And it is just as clear that some revenue sharing agreement needs to be done. Motherload on Comedy Central is pretty unwieldy; iTMS is severely overpriced; Amazon UnBox? Maybe after a few millenia in Internet Time.

    A single gatekeeper of the largest distribution point for any media is bad news for large media conglomerates like Viacom. And a lawsuit is sometimes an effective, if blunt, hammer. iTunes Music Store you say? Yes in “pay for” downloadable music content Apple dominates, but in general, we know that this is roadkill compared to filesharing and not likely to ever be a significant source of revenue for the music industry, even if does take the lion share of each sale.

    Really the best example of the danger being dealt with is the power Walmart exerts over CD production because of their impact on CD sales. Google here is not exactly a “Rockefeller breaking the railroad monopoly” moment.

    Viacom is a huge company. Do we honestly think that this it is draining of its resources in any way to issue a lawsuit that was considered as part of the due diligence of the Google purchase? Viacom is media company. Are we honestly going to say it is their job to develop technology to extend their franchise instead of making money on content they have manipulated the laws to own? Yes that ownership is perhaps very immoral, but hardly illegal.

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