Viacom’s billion-dollar legal gambit against Google could lead to more media industry lawsuits and give a boost to rival online video services in the emerging marketplace.
Media executives and analysts are awaiting the outcome of the lawsuit against Google and its video-sharing site YouTube, which Viacom said is intended to defend the notion of intellectual property and the concept of the Internet media marketplace.
Viacom, owner of MTV Networks and Comedy Central, demanded in February that YouTube pull more than 100,000 video clips uploaded by users on to the online video-sharing service. Google and Viacom had tried and failed to negotiate a deal to allow some of Viacom’s content on to YouTube and split the advertising revenues.
On Tuesday, Viacom sued Google and YouTube for more than $1 billion, accusing them of “massive intentional copyright infringement.”
“I think that most media companies will let Viacom do the initial heavy lifting,” said HDNet owner Mark Cuban, a vocal critic of YouTube, in an e-mail. Cuban has subpoenaed Google for the identities of YouTube users who uploaded unauthorized clips of movies produced by his firm.