NBCU adds more juice to the Viacom vs Google-drama

So Viacom is getting support from NBC Universal in the $1 billion-piracy lawsuit against Google-owned YouTube. This according to papers filed in court, Reuters Eric Auchard reports.

This means more juice to the court drama that is about to unfold this summer. A first case management conference in Viacom versus Google is scheduled for July 27 (read PodTech’s previous post on the case here).

This latest development involves a separate party, Los Angeles News Service operator Robert Tur, Auchard writes. Tur has sued YouTube for allowing its users access to his famous footage of trucker Reginald Denny being beaten during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. And NBC Universal and Viacom have submitted a friend of the court brief opposing YouTube’s bid to dismiss the copyright infringement suit brought by Tur.

In our opinion we are probably just seeing the beginning of a number of court cases and settlements in this area. YouTube and several other web 2.0-sites operates on the principle of open media. When they meet the culture of big conglomerates, it is likely to clash. The Viacom vs Google case is the tip of the iceberg.

So what does NBC Universals filing actually mean?

“Let’s clear one thing up right now: NBC is NOT suing YouTube, nor have they joined Viacom in that company’s litigation against the vid-sharing site,” Steve Bryand at Google Watch writes. But NBC’s decision to file the friend of the court brief is interesting, according to Bryand:

“This filing comes on the heels of their recently announced partnership with News Corp. to deploy their own video-sharing platform. Seems to me like they’re hedging their bets on both sides. Or, as they would undoubtedly say, we’re happy to distribute our content to every platform as long as we can control it, too. Dummies, the Web doesn’t work that way.”

At Rexduffdixon Rex Dixon adds that YouTube is likely to have more big companies lining up to stomp them into the ground. “Now YouTube, in their defense has done a great job of making sure all content is legal, and not in violation of the DMCA, a 1998 law. I think though, it may be “too little, too late“, he writes.

According to Reuters the court papers filed in the Tur case makes the view of NBC Universal clear: “Many of NBCU’s most valuable copyrighted works have been copied, performed, and disseminated without authorization by YouTube and other similarly operated Websites. NBCU has a strong interest in preserving the strength and viability of all of its legal rights and remedies in response to such conduct,” it says.

We look forward to following this case – and to the live blogging a court case would bring. Meanwhile, don’t miss Andrew Adam Newmans story in New York Times on Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty who wrapped up an audiobook for podcast after her interview with Oprah Winfrey – since her book was not scheduled until next year.

This is also about open media, web 2.0 and having a conversation with your audience. “What’s wrong with taking advantage of a little serendipity to help preview P via E and benefit from reader feedback,” David Rothman comments at TeleRead.

By John Furrier and Tina Magnergard Bjers

Author: John

Entrepreneur living in Palo Alto California and the Founder of SiliconANGLE Media

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