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Innovation

YouTube takes a Viacom hit; more blows likely

The underpinnings of YouTube's business model may have taken a hit when Viacom ordered Google's video darling to pull 100,000 of its unauthorized clips. Viacom said in a statement: "It has become clear that YouTube is unwilling to come to a fair market agreement that would make Viacom content available to YouTube users.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

The underpinnings of YouTube's business model may have taken a hit when Viacom ordered Google's video darling to pull 100,000 of its unauthorized clips.

Viacom said in a statement:

"It has become clear that YouTube is unwilling to come to a fair market agreement that would make Viacom content available to YouTube users. Filtering tools promised repeatedly by YouTube and Google have not been put in place, and they continue to host and stream vast amounts of unauthorized video. YouTube and Google retain all of the revenue generated from this practice, without extending fair compensation to the people who have expended all of the effort and cost to create it."

News of the latest YouTube flap spread quickly for good reason: This move gets to the heart of what Mark Cuban has saying about "GooTube" for months: Most of the popular video on YouTube is lifted from elsewhere.

Will YouTube's site be as rich without Viacom video from Comedy Central, MTV and Spike, which happens to broadcast the Ultimate Fighting Championships, a regular on the YouTube most popular list?

Now this Viacom order may just be a negotiating ploy, but the fact remains that spats with Fox and Viacom in a month can't be good for YouTube. All that has to happen is one lawsuit to be launched and many more will follow. The world knows that Google's pockets are deep and the company has set aside $200 million to keep content owners at bay.

This issue is only going to get bigger as Google tries to monetize YouTube. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out the most worthwhile video on YouTube is the professionally created. And these pros are going to want a cut as Google targets video advertising.  

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