Viacom in a Tizz With YouTube

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So here’s the question: is Viacom right to sue YouTube? YouTube maintains that it’s just a delivery mechanism and that as soon as it is notified, the company removes copyrighted content.

But now that Google owns YouTube and is actively looking for ways to monetize the relationship, “GoogTube” will soon be able to make money off of video clips.

Viacom maintains that they stand to lose a lot, since their programming consists largely of youth-oriented material that tends to find its way onto the Internet. Viacom also doesn’t like having to be the one to notify YouTube, either, since that lets YouTube off the hook for any infringements under the “they didn’t know” defense. Hence Viacom’s new, shiny $1 billion lawsuit.

We expect the lawsuit to drive a stake in the ground for anything that happens in the mobile video space. Currently you can’t view YouTube clips on cell phones directly, though some independent startup services offer workarounds as part of a larger social-networking-related concept.

Update: Viacom Files $1B Copyright Suit Vs. Google, YouTube [PC Magazine]