Economics of the Viacom vs YouTube suit

Viacom is suing YouTube for 1 billion dollars.  That is Billion with a B.  Based on the 160,000 copyright violations and 1.5 billion views of those uploads, this seems a bit large.  That would allege that each viewer of the average 5 minute clip is worth about 75 cents.  I wish that a viewer was worth 75 cents, I could retire on my Video about driving around Mountain View playing Xbox.  (not really but it’d have covered the cost of the Jeep)

Google doesn’t seem to understand copyright.  They are constantly getting in trouble in this area, and the idea that they drive content to my site often is out weighed by the content that they blatantly rip off for Google Image search, or the PDF’s that they convert to HTML, or the content that they cache so I can’t pull something offline that was supposed to be time limited.

Google contests that YouTube is helping Viacom build its brand, but it isn’t.  Shows that appear on YouTube don’t get people to watch TV.  It is like Readers Digest doesn’t sell books, nor does Cliff’s Notes.  You get the Juicy bits, which means you don’t have to sit through the filler, and the commercials. 

There will oneday be a way to make money converting your TV shows to be free on the Internet with no visible advertising… But it will look like the old Blue Bonnet Serials, or the Original Soap Operas’ brought to you by well… Soap.   Product Placement, and transparent advertising is the way of the future, but it is not here today. (well it is HERE at XYHD ) but it is not Elsewhere today.

 

*Update*

Om Malik Doesn’t get it. He writes about how  Viacom missed the boat and this is just an MTV vs. You Tube issue.  But he misses that while YouTube has gained market share MTV hasn’t lost viewers.    MTV may not have gained at the rate MTV did, but MTV is just one Viacom property, and MTV is trying to get you to watch TV, not surf the net. 

The Fact that MTV lost Viewership is a testament to the things they are doing right legitimately.  If you can compete with the largest library of free pirated content on the planet, and not lose ground, that is a testament that you get it. 

YouTube is not about User Generated Content, or about making the individuals stars it is about stealing content.  Even the UGC content is often content that is not uploaded by the Generator.  Which is easy to tell by the sheer number of duplicated UGC. 

I’m using Blip.tv, I trust them more, and I have more control over my content.  I have nothing against Revver.  But Blip was better for my particular use model.

1 thought on “Economics of the Viacom vs YouTube suit

  1. In cases where the volume of infringement might be difficult to determine, a copyright holder might seek statutory damages. Viacom actually is seeking a pretty middle of the range amount. If they would have asked for statutory damages at the high end of the range it’d be $30,000 times 160,000 or $4.8 Billion.

    From WikiPedia:

    “Statutory Damages in the United States
    In the United States, statutory damages are set out in Title 17, Section 504 of the U.S. Code. The basic level of damages is between $750 and $30,000 per work, at the discretion of the court.

    Plaintiffs who can show willful infringement may be entitled to damages up to $150,000 per work. Defendants who can show that they were “not aware and had no reason to believe” they were infringing copyright may have the damages reduced to $200 per work.

    Under 17 USC 412, statutory damages are only available in the United States for works that were registered with the Copyright Office prior to infringement, or within three months of publication.”

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