Viacom has sued YouTube and Google in a New York court, alleging massive intentional copyright infringement of Viacom’s entertainment properties. The suit seeks more than $1 billion in damages, as well as an injunction prohibiting Google and YouTube from further copyright infringement.
The complaint contends that almost 160,000 unauthorized clips of Viacom’s programming have been available on YouTube and that these clips had been viewed more than 1.5 billion times.
In connection with the filing, Viacom released a statement in which it said: YouTube is a significant, for-profit organization 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 off of unlicensed content, is clearly illegal and is in obvious conflict with copyright laws.
Viacom also said that the filing comes after a great deal of unproductive negotiation, and remedial efforts and that it aims to prevent Google and YouTube from continuing to steal value from artists and to obtain compensation for the significant damage they have caused.