Viacom Sues YouTube For $1 Billion

Posted on March 13, 2007

Reuters reports that Viacom has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube. Viacom says YouTube has about 160,000 unauthorized video clips that people have viewed over 1.5 billion times. The BBC has a more detailed story that includes comments from Viacom's statement.

"YouTube's strategy has been to avoid taking proactive steps to curtail the infringement on its site," said Viacom in a statement.

"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."

Last month, Viacom, which also owns cable networks VH1 and Comedy Central, told YouTube to remove 100,000 "unauthorised" clips.

Viacom said its demand came after YouTube and Google failed to install tools to "filter" the unauthorised video clips following negotiations.

"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," it said.

The article says that Google hasn't responded yet to Viacom's court action. Viacom's press statement can be found here. Viacom owns Comedy Central, MTV, BET, Spike, Nickelodeon, DreamWorks and several other film and tv networks.

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