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Viacom and Google amped up their war of words over the past couple of days, as each side braces for a big fight in the looming $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit Viacom brought against Google-owned YouTube.
Sumner Redstone fired off a round during a speech yesterday when he called out YouTube for aiding piracy. Redstone said:
“We cannot tolerate any form of piracy by anyone, including YouTube…they ( YouTube) cannot get away with stealing our products.”
Then today, when asked if Google had any plans to resolve the issue out of court, David Eun, Google vice president in charge of content partnerships, replied, “Nope.” He went on to say his company is ready to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court.
Chest thumping is all part of the public game, so never say never. But the online video landscape has changed since Viacom first filed its suit more than a year ago (really? that much time already?). YouTube is still the 800-pound, online-video gorilla, but it’s not the only game in town. Viacom has seen successful going solo with properties like South Park, which has been downloaded (for money) 7 million times on iTunes and Xbox, and Comedy Central Digital, which includes southparkstudios.com and thedailyshow.com, raked in 35 million video plays in March. Online will also play a big part in the upcoming pay TV network it’s forming with Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM.
(Hat tip to Silicon Alley Insider)