Dick Parsons Says Talk to Us or Else

Update: We toned down the headline (which previously implied there was actually a lawsuit happening) after reading your comments. Thanks for the feedback.

Deep pockets do have a way of attracting lawsuits.

Not a week after its YouTube acquisition, Google has an enemy on its tail: Time Warner. In a Guardian story in Friday’s edition, Time Warner CEO Dick Parsons is quoted as saying he plans to pursue copyright complaints over illegal material on YouTube. “You can assume we’re in negotiations with YouTube and that those negotiations will be kicked up to the Google level in the hope that we can get to some acceptable position,” he says.

He denied the decision to pursue any potential infringement had been prompted by this week’s acquisition. Google, whose core search function attracted 204 million users in August, four times those who used YouTube, has a higher market capitalisation than Time Warner. “We were going to pursue it anyway,” he said. “If you let one thing ignore your rights as an owner it makes it much more difficult to defend those rights when the next guy comes along.”

Time Warner, we should note, is separate from Warner Music Group, which has already licensed music and music video content to both YouTube and Google. This is not the last threat of a lawsuit, but of course, everyone is waiting for the deal to close. Meanwhile, MySpace is trying to put pressure on Goobe through lines of communication it has already established in its partnership. Google may end up paying a lot more than $1.65 billion when this all plays out… and you can bet Time Warner and the rest won’t be satisfied with payment in stock.

(Formerly titled “Dick Parsons Says He’s Suing Goobe.”)