Global entertainment mega-corp Viacom recently sued YouTube and Google for massive intentional copyright infringement, seeking more than US$1 billion in damages. Viacom, whose leading brands include MTV, VH1, Logo and Spike TV, contends in its complaint that almost 160,000 unauthorized clips of its programming have been available on YouTube and that the clips have been viewed more than 1.5 billion times. A company statement furthered that ‘this behavior stands in stark contrast to the actions of other significant distributors, who have recognized the fair value of entertainment content and have concluded agreements to make content legally available to their customers around the world.’
Sounds like a reference to the deal Viacom announced less than a month earlier with Joost, which dubs itself ‘the world’s first broadcast-quality Internet television service.’ Under the agreement, Viacom will offer a full range of brands and programming for free to consumers on Joost’s distribution platform, which enables interactive video experiences while guaranteeing copyright protection for content owners and creators. In the related press release, Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman said ‘We have the number one portfolio of entertainment sites in the world… but we’re determined to keep pushing and growing our digital presence and bring our programming to audiences on every platform and device that they want.’ Unless, of course, it’s YouTube.