Probably everyone has heard by now that Viacom has filed suit against Google (YouTube) for what they claim is blatant disregard for copyright infringement, with around 160,000 or so snippets of Viacom-owned content, posted to the site by YouTube users. Viacom currently has no blanket licensing arrangement with Google that would allow such posting with money flowing back to Viacom, such as other big media companies do. Viacom wants Google to police the environment rather than Viacom having to send take-down notices for each clip that goes up. Here is Wired’s coverage, “Will Viacom Kill the Video Star?” by Hugh Hart.

The article refers briefly to Mark Cuban (media mogul, owner of HdNet) weighing in on the subject. He wrote a full post on his blog, You Go Viacom! I find it disheartening that Cuban, who has always seemed to understand that business should go with the flow rather than against it, would say “The entertainment industry may not be great at many things, but getting copyright law changed to meet their expectations is one thing they are better than any one at.”

I wondered if Electronic Frontier Foundation had dealt themselves into this hand, and surely enough, they are engaged in their own battle with Viacom after the media conglomerate successfully had YouTube take down a short created by MoveOn.org and Brave New Films (Robert Greenwald’s company), Stop the Falsiness, “a tongue-in-cheek commentary on Colbert’s portrayal of the right-wing media and parodying MoveOn’s own reputation for earnest political activism,” claiming infringement.

We’ve known for a long time that the big question is were does copyright protection end and user rights begin. Content owners are still fighting to keep a vice grip on ownership, which is antithetical to the underpinnings of copyright. Read more about copyright>>

More on the suit at Business Week, “Viacom’s Suite Won’t Snuff Out YouTube”

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