Video services

Viacom Sues Google for $1B

Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA) announced this morning that it is suing Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) for more than $1 billion in damages for "massive intentional copyright infringement" on the company's YouTube Inc. site. The suit also seeks an injunction preventing Google from further copyright infringement.

"YouTube is a significant, for-profit organization that has built a lucrative business out of exploiting the devotion of fans to others' creative works in order to enrich itself and its corporate parent Google," said Viacom in a statement.

Recall that Viacom had earlier ordered Google to remove more than 160,000 of its copyrighted content from the YouTube site. Viacom is the parent company for media outlets such as Comedy Central and MTV, which were among the most popular content on the YouTube site. [Ed. note: You mean it's not that video of me dressing my cat up like Princess Leia?]

The two sides had been unsuccessfully trying to reach a deal for some time now, according to Viacom. "After a great deal of unproductive negotiation, and remedial efforts by ourselves and other copyright holders, YouTube continues in its unlawful business model. Therefore, we must turn to the courts to prevent Google and YouTube from continuing to steal value from artists and to obtain compensation for the significant damage they have caused," the Viacom statement proclaimed.

Google could not be reached for comment. The company's shares were down $4.50 (0.99%) to $450.25 in mid-morning trading on Tuesday.

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

materialgirl 12/5/2012 | 3:12:38 PM
re: Viacom Sues Google for $1B The friction between content owners and internet providers was going to ignite at some point. The record labels shut down the original file sharing sites. It will be interesting to see what the lawyers to with this one. It will surely be Godzilla versus the Three Headed Monster.
Raymond McConville 12/5/2012 | 3:12:36 PM
re: Viacom Sues Google for $1B That is of course if the case ever makes it to trial. I'd be surprised if the two sides didn't settle out of court.
lighten up!! 12/5/2012 | 3:12:34 PM
re: Viacom Sues Google for $1B Viacom should be happy that they are getting all this free advertising and promotion of their content on Youtube. Youtube is one of the greatest innovations on the Internet and instead of fighting it, companies should learn how to exploit its potential. Shame on you Viacom for your a$$backward mentality. In the end you'll be the loser if you don't accept Youtube for what it is...
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