Big story of the day (maybe this week) is that Viacom files a $1 billion lawsuit against Google accusing them of “massive intentional copyright infringement” by allowing users to upload copyrighted material. The reason why I waited this long to post is because I wanted to hear all sides of the story before I commented on the story.
The reactions have been mixed, mainly on culture lines. Media companies like NBC Universal and News Corp. (FOX) have stated support of Viacom , while others have stated that this is completely “boneheaded”. Mark Cuban has also voiced his comments on the lawsuit.
My opinion is this: YouTube is an advertising website; users posts clips of TV shows or people lip syncing to songs and many people enjoy them. Stats have also been shown that clips on YouTube have helped raised ratings for some CBS shows and NBC as well.
We’re in a new generation of content control. The old model is dead. It started with Napster: you can’t control your content. If media companies want to control their content and make money off of it, go ahead but make it simple. The reason why YouTube is so popular is because it’s easy. If I want to watch the latest episode of Jericho; go to YouTube, search, and watch. Sure, media companies are putting shows online on their site, but I have to go to their site, find the damn link to watch the show and download a player (CBS, GET RID OF REALPLAYER!!). YouTube is easy: search, click, and watch.
Make no mistake, there will not be a settlement. This will go to court and maybe we’ll have a real challenge on old copyright laws in the new media. No matter what the outcome will be, YouTube will the known as the product that will ruin Google’s image.