Blog Post

The Ties That Bind Google and Viacom

Philippe Dauman Jr., the son of Viacom (VIA) CEO and former general counsel Philippe Dauman, will be reporting to work at Google (GOOG) after the Labor Day weekend, the Wall Street Journal reports.

philippe_dauman_jr.jpgThis puts father and son, both of whom received their law degrees from Columbia, on opposite sides of a billion-dollar copyright lawsuit brought by Viacom against YouTube in New York Southern District Court. Dauman Jr. had listed “Online Media” as his industry on LinkedIn, but has since removed his profile (his new employer helpfully provides a cached version). A quick Facebook search turned up a profile thumbnail featuring the young Dauman reclining with a beer in front of him and a lass over his shoulder, and illustrates that while he followed Dad’s footsteps into Yale and law school, he has yet to follow his father’s footsteps into male pattern baldness. Based on his graduation class, Dauman Jr. is in his mid-twenties, and certainly a savvy member of the online social network generation.

An unnamed source told the Journal that the elder Dauman was happy for his son, who apparently chose Google over a host of other offers. Those willing to speculate might see this as a little bit of rebellion on the son’s part, or a concilliatory gesture towards the father on the part of Google. Neither has commented to the Journal about the report.

As for the billion-dollar lawsuit, there hasn’t been much action since the July 27th filing of appearance notices for lawyers from Dauman Sr.’s old firm of Shearman & Sterling on behalf of the plaintiff, Viacom. It certainly goes to show that the world of big-money media is a small one indeed, and that when companies get litigious, lawyers win either way.

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