jamie goode's wine blog: Viacom vs. Google and the power of the web

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Viacom vs. Google and the power of the web

Interesting news story on the fact that Viacom (MTV, Nickelodeon, etc.) plans to sue Google for a sum the size of the GDP of a mid-sized country.

It relates to the fact that much of the content on YouTube, which Google bought for a similarly huge sum last year, breaches copyright. In fact, it seems that part of the business model for YouTube relies on creating a platform that makes it very easy for users to infringe copyright.

I don't condone this, but then I can see that there's a potential huge upside for copyright owners in having their content on YouTube. It's about understanding the power of the web. You give away lots of stuff for free, and you get a huge platform and access to lots of consumers, assuming that your stuff is good enough. This then gives you opportunities for revenue generation that you wouldn't have had otherwise.

Rather than sue the balls off Google, making many lawyers rich, I reckon Viacom should be entering into a licensing arrangement with Google in the same way that the BBC have done.

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