Viacom drags YouTube to court in $1 bn suit

MUMBAI: Viacom Inc has sued wellknown portal YouTube and its parent, Google, in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York for intentional copyright infringement of Viacom’s entertainment properties.

The suit claims more than $ 1 billion in damages, as well as an injunction prohibiting Google and YouTube from further copyright infringement. According to Viacom, almost 160,000 unauthorized clips of its programming have been available on YouTube, which have been viewed more than 1.5 billion times.  

According to a Viacom release, “YouTube is a significant, for-profit organisation 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. Their business model, which is based on building traffic and selling advertising of unlicensed content, is clearly illegal and is in obvious conflict with copyright laws. In fact, 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.”