Google vs. Viacom: Good cop, bad cop?

Google or Vicaom. Who is in the right?
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor
The “Online video game: ‘technically illegal’ musical chairs” continues.


I presented and analyzed at length yesterday the Google YouTube video game with television networks in “Who needs Google? CBS vs. Viacom vs. NBC.”

Fair or not fair, safe or not safe? The “fair use,” “safe harbor,” online video game is becoming a high-stakes musical chairs gamble. Content owners are circling for position; Online video elimination is the threat.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said last August, “I've learned that the law is not as crisply defined in this area as you might want.”

Schmidt and the powerhouse Google legal team, however, are confident in the Google business model interpretation of the law. Schmidt last August on Google’s analysis of the “doctrine of fair use”:

We've analyzed this pretty carefully…it is our view and we spent a lot of time on it. And I don't think we're going to change our tune on that.

Google does not appear to be changing its tune on the YouTube DMCA based business model which enables a “community” environment fostering the notion that video is free for the taking and uploading. 

Google is reiterating confidence in its no need to pay for content YouTube business model.

Advertising giant Google’s public reaction to media giant Viacom’s claim that YouTube is massively infringing on its copyrights, as cited by The New York Times: 

David Eun, vice president for content partnerships: The biggest feeling we have now is regret that Viacom may miss out on the chance to interact with the YouTube community. 

In “Who needs Google? CBS vs. Viacom vs. NBC” I cite YouTube’s reaction to Viacom’s defense of its copyrights:

It is unfortunate that Viacom will no longer be able to benefit from YouTube's passionate audience which has helped to promote many of Viacom's shows.

In “YouTube: Is Viacom hurting innocent YouTubers?” I present and analyze the “free culture movement” position which decries an “onerous and notorious DMCA” and supports “going after Viacom.” 

I asked: Are innocent YouTubers caught in the high-stakes crossfire?

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ALSO: “Is YouTube really a $1.65 billion Web 2.0 success?” and
Can YouTube make revenue sharing work?

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