Viacom Demands Removal of Videos From YouTube
Last year, Google bought YouTube for $1.6 Billion dollars. While at the time it may have seemed like a good investment for Google at the end of the day was it really? Well, as of now it is, but for how much longer will it be? Who really knows? Viacom who owns many broadcasting companies has demanded that Google remove 100k videos from YouTube this week alone. If other comapnies do the same thing as Viacom YouTube may lose a large portion of its userbase. YouTube, which was intended to be a website that allowed users to upload home videos of themselves to allow the world to view, and hence their slogan “Broadcast Yourself”.
However, it has turned into a huge copyright infringment disaster with users uploading copyrighted videos of TV shows, music videos, and even parts of movies. Now that Google owns YouTube broadcasting companies have to think about how they want to approach this situation. Before Google owned YouTube – YouTube had no real assets and now of course, this has changed making a lawsuit much more worthwhile. Now, even some broadcasting companies such as NBC will upload some of their own content to YouTube for users to view. If I were a broadcasting comapny this is how I would look at it. By allowing your content to remain on YouTube you are extending the number of viewers able to see your programming. Thus, potentially making your viewer base much larger as you would get people watching something they normally wouldn’t, and perhaps liking it. However on the other hand, you could potentially lose viewers, but even with TiVo and other devices that record TV shows you have that risk.
Personally if it were up to me I’d experiment. Let YouTube keep the content and try and work out some kind of licensing agreement. After all it’s always about the money and that’s exactly why Viacom is having their content removed – they can’t come to a licensing agreement with Google.