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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Viacom mounts renewed attack on Google

Recent time you tube have taken innitiative to develop copyrights system to protect piracy .

The content provider says the seach giant is not doing enough to prevent clips being illegally shown on YouTube.

Viacom ramped up its offensive against Google yesterday, saying that it would not back down from its $1 billion lawsuit against the internet search engine.

Philippe Dauman, Viacom's chief executive, said that Google had not done enough to prevent content from being illegally uploaded to YouTube, and gave no impression that a settlement was near to being reached.

Viacom, the entertaiment company which owns MTV and Nickelodeon, claims that Google allowed more than 160,000 clips of its programming to be uploaded to YouTube, the video-sharing website it owns.

Google denies that is infringeing Viacom's copyright, and claims that it removes unauthorised videos from YouTube when asked to by content owners.

Speaking at an internet conference in San Francisco, Mr Dauman said that he had "an open mind" about reaching an agreement with Google, which he described as a "responsible company", but that a settlement "wasn't quite there yet".

Referring to Google's proposed solution to the problem, a filtering system which allows new content being uploaded to be checked against a database of copyright material, he said: "They have a lot of tools, but they're not perfect. What no-one wants is a proprietary system that benefits one company to the exclusion of others."

Mr Dauman said that what he would prefer would be an industry standard system, adding that it was "beyond the capacity of a company like ours, let alone smaller ones", to cope with a range of filtering technologies.

Earlier in the day Viacom and a range of other content producers, including Disney, CBS, Fox and NBC, as well as internet companies such as Microsoft and MySpace, announced that they would collaborate on a technology which would prevent users from uploading unauthorised material.

Google was not a party to the list, although analysts said it was not feasible that it continue to use its own technology while the rest of the internet and content industries were working to a common standard.

There was "a developing consensus among content creators and distributors" that whilst it was important content be widely available via the internet, there needed to be "rules of the road", Mr Dauman told an assembled audience at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.

The complaint of media companies such as Viacom is that they should bear part of the onus - and cost - of policing sites such as YouTube, onto which vast amounts of content are uploaded each day, for unauthorised content.

Google argues that it complies with the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and takes down copyright-infringeing material when requested to do so by the copyright owner.

Viacom's Bet on Web Diversity.

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, whose company sued Google last year for $1 billion for alleged copyright violations on Google's YouTube video sharing site, journeyed into the belly of the beast a few minutes ago. He was, not surprisingly, unapologetic about the suit, which was not popular among the Web digerati. But in the process of defending his position, he did make it clear that Viacom is betting big on the notion that people online will travel to hundreds of individual Web sites for the content they want to view. That was underscored by today's announcement that Viacom would make clips of segments from The Daily Show With Jon Stewart available online for free. "We believe in fragmentation going forward on the Internet."

Of course, no one person wants to see all of Viacom's offerings, but I wonder if people really will click directly to all that many individual sites. The rise of YouTube may well depend on the presence of unauthorized videos, but there's a reason people flock there: They can find what they're looking for without having to click all over the Net. As Cisco senior VP Dan Scheinman said just a few minutes before, "The challenge of our era is, how do we find anything?"

Search helps, but it's clearly not the whole answer anytime soon. And I think people, online or off, want to gather where there are a whole bunch of other people.

Can Viacom fight that reality? Maybe, if it can get enough critical mass of fans for each of those sites. And it's hard to argue with $500 million in online revenue. But I can't imagine that will ever be completely sufficient. Still seems like there's more benefit in using YouTube--whose videos are hardly HDTV-quality--as a way to drive traffic to Viacom than in suing it and preventing users from finding what they want.

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