New round of documents aired in Viacom-Google case

Apr 16, 2010

(AP) -- Before it bought online video service YouTube, employees of Google Inc. believed YouTube's business was risky because it relied on pirated content and recommended pursuing a different strategy, newly released documents showed Thursday.

The internal documents, marked "highly confidential," were obtained and released by media company Viacom Inc. in part to bolster its case in a $1 billion copyright lawsuit against Google and YouTube.

Viacom alleges the companies built YouTube's success by promoting the unlicensed use of video taken from Viacom cable channels such as MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, rather than paying the creators.

Google bought YouTube for $1.76 billion in November 2006.

In one document, an internal review of Internet video services from May 2006, Google's video division asserted YouTube's business "is completely sustained by pirated content."

Google also referred to YouTube as a "`rogue enabler' of content theft."

The authors of that document sought to steer Google away from that model, saying the company should "differentiate based on our `respect for .'"

Viacom sought the release of the files and Google recently relented. It is the second batch of three that Viacom wants made public.

A YouTube spokesman responded to the release of the documents Thursday, saying, "It's revealing that Viacom is trying to litigate this case in the press. These documents aren't new. They are taken out of context and have nothing to do with this lawsuit."

Some documents suggested Google had an evolving strategy.

In one June 2006 e-mail forwarded to CEO and Google co-founders and , two employees recommended Google "pressure premium content providers to change their model towards free," and to "set up `play first, deal later' around `hot content.'"

YouTube and Google contend that employees themselves were releasing videos on to generate buzz for their shows and to reach new audiences.

In one prescient document from May 2006, Google said premium content owners "still don't know whether Google is friend or foe," and said if the company were to promote the theft of copyright-protected material, it could jeopardize its ability to work with them going forward.

Google was perceived by content owners as "a deep pocket and therefore worthy of a precedent-setting lawsuit," the document says.

Explore further: Apple closes acquisition of Beats music

3 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Viacom-YouTube secrets to be exposed in lawsuit

Mar 17, 2010

(AP) -- A legal tussle pitting media conglomerate Viacom Inc. against online video leader YouTube is about to get dirtier as a federal judge prepares to release documents that will expose their secrets and other confidential ...

Viacom, YouTube air dirty laundry in legal battle

Mar 18, 2010

(AP) -- Viacom Inc. and Google Inc.'s YouTube site began airing each other's dirty laundry Thursday, providing a tantalizing peek at the wheeling and dealing that triggered a bitter battle over the copyright ...

YouTube chief says ad sales soaring

Dec 08, 2009

(AP) -- YouTube's chief executive says ad sales are soaring, but there is still no word on whether the popular video-sharing site is making money.

YouTube suffers outage

Mar 25, 2010

YouTube was hit by an outage on Thursday with some users temporarily unable to access the popular video-sharing service.

Recommended for you

Apple closes acquisition of Beats music

1 hour ago

Apple said Friday it closed its $3 billion deal for Beats, the high-end audio equipment and streaming music service, a tie-up that could allow the iPhone maker to reach new audiences.

Scientific Games strikes $3.3B deal to buy Bally

3 hours ago

Scientific Games plans to pay about $3.3 billion to buy Bally Technologies in a deal that would combine makers of gambling equipment ranging from slot machines to instant-win lottery games.

Tesla loss widens as it ramps up expansion plan

8 hours ago

US electric automaker Tesla Motors reported Thursday a widening loss in the past quarter amid record revenues as it ramped up plans for a giant battery plant for future vehicles.

Android grabs 85% of smartphone market

22 hours ago

Smartphones powered by the Android operating system captured 85 percent of the worldwide market in the second quarter, threatening to marginalize rival platforms, a new survey shows.

Chinese man brings gay conversion therapy lawsuit

Jul 31, 2014

(AP)—A gay Chinese man said Thursday he was suing a psychological clinic for carrying out electric shocks intended to turn him straight, as well as the search engine giant Baidu for advertising the center.

User comments : 0