Viacom Files Federal Copyright Infringement Complaint Against YouTube and Google Suit Seeks Court Ruling to Require YouTube and Google to Comply With

Copyright Laws and Pay $1 Billion in Damages



    NEW YORK, March 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Viacom Inc. (NYSE:   VIA and
 VIA.B) today announced that it has sued YouTube and Google in U.S. District
 Court for the Southern District of New York for massive intentional
 copyright infringement of Viacom's entertainment properties. The suit seeks
 more than $1 billion in damages, as well as an injunction prohibiting
 Google and YouTube from further copyright infringement. The complaint
 contends that almost 160,000 unauthorized clips of Viacom's programming
 have been available on YouTube and that these clips had been viewed more
 than 1.5 billion times.
     In connection with the filing, Viacom released the following statement:
 
       "YouTube is a significant, for-profit organization that has built a
       lucrative business out of exploiting the devotion of fans to others'
       creative works in order to enrich itself and its corporate parent
       Google.  Their business model, which is based on building traffic and
       selling advertising off of unlicensed content, is clearly illegal and is
       in obvious conflict with copyright laws.  In fact, YouTube's strategy
       has been to avoid taking proactive steps to curtail the infringement on
       its site, thus generating significant traffic and revenues for itself
       while shifting the entire burden - and high cost - of monitoring YouTube
       onto the victims of its infringement.
 
       This behavior stands in stark contrast to the actions of other
       significant distributors, who have recognized the fair value of
       entertainment content and have concluded agreements to make content
       legally available to their customers around the world.
 
       There is no question that YouTube and Google are continuing to take the
       fruit of our efforts without permission and destroying enormous value in
       the process.  This is value that rightfully belongs to the writers,
       directors and talent who create it and companies like Viacom that have
       invested to make possible this innovation and creativity.
 
       After a great deal of unproductive negotiation, and remedial efforts by
       ourselves and other copyright holders, YouTube continues in its unlawful
       business model.  Therefore, we must turn to the courts to prevent Google
       and YouTube from continuing to steal value from artists and to obtain
       compensation for the significant damage they have caused."
 
     About Viacom
     Viacom is a leading global entertainment content company, with
 prominent and respected brands. Engaging its audiences through television,
 motion pictures and digital platforms, Viacom seeks to reach its audiences
 however they consume content. Viacom's leading brands include the
 multiplatform properties of MTV Networks, including MTV: Music Television,
 VH1, CMT: Country Music Television, Logo, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, COMEDY
 CENTRAL, Spike TV, TV Land, and more than 130 networks around the world, as
 well as digital assets such as MTV.com, comedycentral.com, VSPOT,
 TurboNick, Neopets, Xfire and iFilm; BET Networks; Paramount Pictures;
 DreamWorks; and Famous Music. More information about Viacom and its
 businesses is available at www.viacom.com.
 
 

SOURCE Viacom Inc.

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