Do you think the M&A folks at Google are maybe having second thoughts about the decision to spend $1.6-billion to buy YouTube, its 21-million unique visitors a month and, unfortunately, its mountain of legal woes? Viacom is the latest content owner to jump on the legal bandwagon by suing Google for $1-billion for unauthorized use of copyrighted material. If you think about it, Chad Hurley and Steven Chen aren’t the only ones getting rich from the acquisition given a bunch of lawyers are now seeing a tsunami of bill-able hours hitting their desks.
In its lawsuit, Viacom alleges that nearly 160,000 unauthorized video clips of its content have been uploaded on YouTube and viewed more than 1.5 billion times. If you want to capture someone’s attention, $1-billion is a pretty effective way to do it – even for multi-billionaires such as Sergey Bryn and Larry Page. For more thoughts, check out IP Democracy, which is disappointed Viacom’s legal efforts aren’t focused on testing the legal weaknesses of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Instead, IP Democracy describes the Viacom lawsuit as “puffy and fluffy”. Paul Kedrosky describes the lawsuit as “entertaining”, while Between the Lines suggests this is just the beginning of YouTube’s lawsuit woes.