Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Google vs Viacom

Viacom is suing YouTube/Google for "encouraging users to upload copyrighted material." It might seem a somewhat trivial and uninteresting case, except that the numbers aren't; Viacom evidently wanted $700 million to give GooTube the right to host the content. According to depositions, GooTube offered somewhere in the neighborhood of $592 million. Seems like they were close...

CNET has a wrap-up of the trial so far, and notes that in his deposition, Google co-founder Larry Page says he can't recall if he ever discussed YouTube's potential copyright problems prior to the acquisition. Google's spokesman claimed that the lawyers were unfairly asking Page about operational matters he wasn't involved with; yet he's supposedly one of the top three at Google, who was about to spend $1.65 billion on YouTube, and he was never involved in any discussion about copyright issues? He's on the Board of Directors of Google! Was the Board never briefed on the purchase?!

CNET: Google offered Viacom $592 million for content

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