March 13, 2007
Tensions between Viacom and YouTube have been growing and now the media giant has taken its first big swing, suing YouTube and its parent company Google for $1 billion.
YouTube is being accused of copyright infringement and now faces their biggest challenge yet. Viacom says 160,000 of their unauthorized clips are on YouTube and have been viewed more than a billion times.
YouTube has allegedly allowed users to post clips of Viacom's shows online without authorization. Viacom, who owns networks like MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central, says they want those clips removed.
In the meantime YouTube has worked out agreements with other networks like CBS and NBC. YouTube says it cooperates with all copyright holders and removes programming as soon as they're notified, but Viacom argues this approach isn't proactive enough in preventing copyright infringement.