SueTube: Viacom Goes After Google For $1 Billion
In a move reminiscent of the music industry’s late-1990s crackdown on Napster, the media giant Viacom on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Google, citing “massive intentional copyright infringement” by the popular file-sharing site YouTube. Google purchased YouTube for over $1.6 billion last year.
The suit alleges that Google has infringed on Viacom’s intellectual property, by selling advertising alongside content which belongs to other entities, including Viacom. “Their business model,” Viacom said in a statement, “which is based on building traffic and selling advertising off of unlicensed content, is clearly illegal and is in obvious conflict with copyright laws.”
Other media conglomerates, including Warner Brothers and NBC Universal, have previously requested the removal of their copyrighted content from YouTube, but Viacom’s action is the first major infringement lawsuit to be filed against the site.