Whilst some other companies have been happy to do content deals with YouTube, Viacom is not one of them, and it’s pursuing Google for a reported US$1bn due to copyright infringement on a massive scale.
Last month, Viacom demanded over 100,000 video clips uploaded by users be pulled from YouTube, claiming that they infringed its copyright. That in itself caused a furore, because innocent films got caught up in the removals.
That doesn’t seem to bother Viacom, though. “YouTube’s strategy has been to avoid taking proactive steps to curtail the infringement on its site, thus generating significant traffic and revenues for itself while shifting the entire burden – and high cost – of monitoring YouTube onto the victims of its infringement,” Viacom said.
Uploaded clips including “The Daily Show” and “Spongebob SquarePants” are said to have been viewed in excess of 1.5 billion times, according to Viacom.
Viacom accuse Google of not responding quickly enough to requests to remove material that infringe copyright, despite acting quickly when pornographic material is uploaded to the site. Google is supposed to be working on a more automated system to deal with copyright material, but that’s been in the works for quite some time now.