In March of 2007, Viacom filed a lawsuit against Google-owned YouTube citing massive copyright infringement. They claim that around 160,000 video clips of Viacom's programming have been viewed over 1.5 billion times making this the largest lawsuit concerning intellectual property rights ever, but Google doesn't seem to be worried. After acquiring YouTube in 2006 for $1.6 billion, making it the largest online acquisition ever, Google expected there to be potential lawsuits in the future. At present day the two companies are still locked in legal turmoil but things are really starting to heat up. Viacom stated last Friday on their website that,
It is abundantly clear that YouTube and Google knew about copyright infringement on the YouTube site, encouraged it and profited from it.
There are also some very angry internal e-mails from Viacom execs and employees that reveal their true hatred for Google, including "F*** those motherf***ers." and "Google bastards."
Google has responded that they are protected by the law under the fair use doctrine and also issued a statement on their website.
YouTube was intended to be a site for user-generated content and personal expression. Moreover, the founders went above and beyond what the law required to keep unauthorized material off the site.
Here is a quote from sone of the Google internal hate e-mail towards Viacom that has surfaced,
I hope they die and rot in hell! Copyright cop a**holes.
I almost thought we were going a full week without talking about lawsuits but given the litigiousness of our society, that is merely wishful thinking. From my point of view Viacom should be thanking YouTube for all the free advertising and customer participation they generate with all their media. YouTube has been more than fair by already removing 100,000 clips that Viacom wanted removed but didn't want to verify if they actually were infringing videos. Viacom seems like one of the old-school media companies that doesn't want to evolve with the times. Gone are the days when they had full control over content distribution.