Viacom uploaded copyrighted content only to sue YouTube

There is a court battle taking place right now between two giants, Viacom and YouTube.  Viacom is suing YouTube for actively hosting copyrighted material and for doing so, Viacom wants 1 billion dollars. 

According to Consumerist.com, YouTube has posted up an astonishing accusation that, if true, could be devastating to the credibility and the foundation of Viacom’s case. 

They write “Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately "roughed up" the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko's to upload clips from computers that couldn't be traced to Viacom. And in an effort to promote its own shows, as a matter of company policy Viacom routinely left up clips from shows that had been uploaded to YouTube by ordinary users... In fact, some of the very clips that Viacom is suing us over were actually uploaded by Viacom itself.”

If the following statements are true, it’s damning evidence that Viacom is a shady jealous company.  Yahoo.com reported that Viacom actually wanted to purchase YouTube but Google won with its final bid of 1.76 billion dollars.  After the loss, Viacom started its attack against YouTube and the resulting lawsuit is the fruit of that labor. 

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The law requires the accused to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This claim by YouTube raises IMHO not a reasonable but quite forceful doubt and the case should simply be thrown out with a warning to the accusers. This is like suing the postal department for delivering a "threat note" !! There is noway for YouTube to know what the contents are until the so called offending material has been posted. There is bound to be some kind of delay in removing the offending material. Just like when a new virus is released on the net and a solution / protection is found to disarm it.

On parallel lines when one is downloading some torrent file he/she has a list of connected seeds and peers in the torrent client. One also has the very exact time and IP addresses. From there onwards it is not too much of an effort to track down the offenders, especially with most of the courts and judges also being party to/ recipients of the lobbying dollar.

All one needs to do is log all this data and collate it. Then one can go after the biggest offenders.

I wish some unreachable and low cost proxy servers were available on the net. Would make life so much easier for most of us.

This would not surprise me one bit. Its the same kind of corruption that the RIAA/MPAA has. They do it intentionally to make money off of everyone they sue. Its the modern day mafia.

Youtube is not at fault as Viacom knew about what they were doing and in doing so voided any wrongdooing so it should be youtube who sues viacom as viacom knew what they were doing and uploaded it to get easy money from youtube as viacom is crap and wants a bailout and who better than youtube as we can upload copyright to youtube and claim youtube is hosting copyrighted material and get a quick n easy 1 billion dollars, no sorry viacom youtube aint that stoopid but it's you who is stupid.

Hmm, this explains those "create youtube accounts" and "upload videos to youtube" jobs at freelancing websites...

I hope Viacom looses though, otherwise it could become a regular feature with not just YouTube, but any website that allows users to contribute:

1. Lookup popular sites where users can contribute content
2. Hire people to create fake accounts and upload copyrighted content
3. Sue the website hosting the content
4. ???
5. Profit!!!

DKcomputers said,
Epic fail for Viacom lol

I think it is the opposite, Google's lawyer are using this trick to discredit their competitor, hence it sound likely as a last resource, if Google lose this last "ace" then they are done.

Viacom and company are just a bunch of douchebags that have no idea how to run a media business in the 21st century. When it will finally sink into their senile skulls that people seeing their content on sites like YouTube is a GOOD thing for them it will be too late. They want to know why some people pirate their content? It's exactly because of this ****ty attitude they have. Anyone that pirates their content holds them in their middle finger and has more power than them. They don't realize that it is the very same people who watch their limited content on YouTube that are going to run down to the store and buy their movies. If they keep this up, they may no longer have a business to bitch about. Personally, I hope they go under. They are nothing but a pain in the ass for everybody and in my eyes, they don't deserve the billions that are flowing into their pockets!

ManOfMystery said,
Viacom and company are just a bunch of douchebags that have no idea how to run a media business in the 21st century. When it will finally sink into their senile skulls that people seeing their content on sites like YouTube is a GOOD thing for them it will be too late. They want to know why some people pirate their content? It's exactly because of this ****ty attitude they have. Anyone that pirates their content holds them in their middle finger and has more power than them. They don't realize that it is the very same people who watch their limited content on YouTube that are going to run down to the store and buy their movies. If they keep this up, they may no longer have a business to bitch about. Personally, I hope they go under. They are nothing but a pain in the ass for everybody and in my eyes, they don't deserve the billions that are flowing into their pockets!

What I would like to see is every manager at VIACOM executed and the video uploaded on YouTube; nothing ****es me off more than over paid, over pampered scum bag managers unable to come up with a viable business model so instead sue the crap out of other companies. If it isn't those damn patent trolls (that always seem to he 'holding company' - code word for "I'm gonna sue ya! sue ya!"), it is scum sucking roaches like Viacom unable to get their act together in 2010 because their management is still living in 1967.

All it takes is 1 proven case they uploaded content to then claim it should be taken down, and there whole credibility is out the window. My guess is like someone said above, someone posted it in one dept, and another took it down, and then thought we could make a quick buck out of this.

Not sure if youtube do this but if they logged the IP address each user logs in on then they could easily trace whats been uploaded where, still if youtubes claims are true then it is one giant kick in the nads for VIACOM and well deserved

jonnyH said,
Not sure if youtube do this but if they logged the IP address each user logs in on then they could easily trace whats been uploaded where, still if youtubes claims are true then it is one giant kick in the nads for VIACOM and well deserved

I presume they do because of the following:

- their whole MO is based around information gathering, so why wouldn't they gather this 'free info'

- illicit material such as child pornography etc.

Mystic420 said,
This is something one would expect to see on a grade school playground...
What sort of grade school playground did you have... one where students regularly brought up potentially bogus lawsuits?

AJC. said,
wow, are 7 year olds running the company?!

We aren't that lucky, it's all stupid old men (no reference to the movie intended ) running that piece of crap they call a company.

Ryoken said,
Viacom vs Google.. Sorry Viacom, you haven't a chance.
Mainly because Google has somewhere along the lines of one googol lawyers.

vaximily said,

Viawho?

That's what you'll get if you do a google search for Viacom or anything they own, if the **** Google off enough. They will be wiped out from the internet of the masses. ( or at least the masses that use google, rather than the masses that still use Yahoo or Live/Bing. )

vaximily said,

Viawho?


* Film Production and Distribution: Viacom International, Paramount Pictures, Republic Pictures, MTV Films, Nickelodeon Movies, Go Fish Pictures
* Television Networks: Comedy Central, Logo, BET, Spike, TV Land, Nick@Nite, Nickelodeon, TeenNick, Nick Jr., MTV, VH1, MTV2, CMT, Palladia
* Video Gaming: Xfire, Harmonix, GameTrailers, Neopets
* New Media: MTV New Media

so Viacom is a big fish.

Pretty sure the judge in this case is already talking to the lawyers. This will be interesting to read about as the case unfolds. Love a good legal fight. . .

Pam14160 said,
Pretty sure the judge in this case is already talking to the lawyers. This will be interesting to read about as the case unfolds. Love a good legal fight. . .

LOL, and this one looks to be a good one...

You can dislike behaviors in Google/Youtube policies, but the sort of dirty business Viacom is trying to sue for is not the companies' trademark. Viacom is loosing its nerves and they will loose much more in the coming weeks.

LOL.... WOW. That is messed up. I seriously hope that Youtube win this battle because that accusation seems very believable. That is pretty messed up for Viacom to do that tbh.

With specific info like that, and the fact that Google has access to lots of vital information on lots of people based on searching that is performed, email that is sent/received, comments that are made on YouTube. Google has the brains and ability to aggregate it all together. They may very well have proof. I wonder if they requested these actions through an email on Gmail or wrote a document in Google Docs, or Buzzed about it on Google Buzz?

spartyjohnson said,
With specific info like that, and the fact that Google has access to lots of vital information on lots of people based on searching that is performed, email that is sent/received, comments that are made on YouTube. Google has the brains and ability to aggregate it all together. They may very well have proof. I wonder if they requested these actions through an email on Gmail or wrote a document in Google Docs, or Buzzed about it on Google Buzz?

Are you really suggesting Google intercepts emails or legible information and documents from it's users? That is incredibly far fetched.

Xenosion said,

Are you really suggesting Google intercepts emails or legible information and documents from it's users? That is incredibly far fetched.

Why is it far-fetched? Did you read the several pages of Google's "Terms of Service" when you signed up for an email account? I just looked through it, especially their Privacy Policy (http://www.google.com/privacypolicy.html). I'm no lawyer, but I see nothing in there which says "We promise not to read your email." Here is one interesting section which could be relevant to the Viacom case:

"Google only processes personal information for the purposes described in this Privacy Policy and/or the supplementary privacy notices for specific services. In addition to the above, such purposes include:
...
* Protecting the rights or property of Google or our users."

I think it's more an issue of one part of Viacom not knowing what the other part is doing, rather than them trying to exploit money from Google.

Person A at Viacom: "Hey, Youtube is cool, let's upload some stuff there for promotion. We can make money from the ads too."

...meanwhile...

Person B at Viacom: "Hey, there's our stuff on Youtube! SUE!"

Still, a pretty laughable situation.

Aaron44126 said,
I think it's more an issue of one part of Viacom not knowing what the other part is doing, rather than them trying to exploit money from Google.

Person A at Viacom: "Hey, Youtube is cool, let's upload some stuff there for promotion. We can make money from the ads too."

...meanwhile...

Person B at Viacom: "Hey, there's our stuff on Youtube! SUE!"

Still, a pretty laughable situation.

I think that's the only way they'll be able to not hang themselves right now. Sounds like a plan to me.

Tarrant64 said,
I think that's the only way they'll be able to not hang themselves right now. Sounds like a plan to me.

+1 - Even if his statement is correct (which I doubt), any company that is so mismanaged that it's different segments aren't on the same page (particularly when it comes to a Billion Dollar lawsuit) should be ashamed.

As you can see they were trying to make a point.. YouTube has a lot of "Pirated" content on it and no one has gone after them for it.

johnnyftw said,
As you can see they were trying to make a point.. YouTube has a lot of "Pirated" content on it and no one has gone after them for it.
No one? You're seriously saying "no one" on a topic about Viacom going after Youtube for that exact thing? What point were they trying to make?

Edited by Kirkburn, Mar 19 2010, 2:29pm :

johnnyftw said,
As you can see they were trying to make a point.. YouTube has a lot of "Pirated" content on it and no one has gone after them for it.

1. Websites are not responsible for the content posted by their users.
2. Copyright holders have protections against their content being illegally posted via DMCA Takedown notices.
3. Refer to 1 & 2 for why someone "going after YouTube" is irrelevant.

Edited by SkinAddict, Mar 19 2010, 4:00pm :

vaximily said,

1. Websites are not responsible for the content posted by their users.
2. Copyright holders have protections against their content being illegally posted via DMCA Takedown notices.
3. Refer to 1 & 2 for why someone "going after YouTube" is irrelevant.

Number 1 is not fact, yet!! Some how I doubt it ever will be.

war said,
Number 1 is not fact, yet!! Some how I doubt it ever will be.

It is so fact. Websites that comply with the DMCA are not supposed to have to police themselves, its up to the copyright holders to police their own content, providers would not be eligible for the safe haven clause(or whatever its called) under the DMCA if they police their own sites.

war said,
Number 1 is not fact, yet!! Some how I doubt it ever will be.
All a website has to do to not be viable for user-uploaded content is slap a sentence or two on their TOS saying that they're not responsible for it.

satukoro said,
All a website has to do to not be viable for user-uploaded content is slap a sentence or two on their TOS saying that they're not responsible for it.

Actually, because of Statm1's comment above, they don't even HAVE to do that. That's just more of a "covering their butts" than anything.

all wrong, you tube is liable for the content otherwise they wouldn't take it down. I run a hosting business and have limited company status just to protect myself from being sued incase a client is doing something dodgy, yes I'll terminate them, but as the provider I can still be chased, to just say, Youtube isn't responsible is wrong.

evo_spook said,
all wrong, you tube is liable for the content otherwise they wouldn't take it down. I run a hosting business and have limited company status just to protect myself from being sued incase a client is doing something dodgy, yes I'll terminate them, but as the provider I can still be chased, to just say, Youtube isn't responsible is wrong.

So if i follow this logic provider of weapons should be liable for each murder done with their weapons ? IN the end they perfectly know lot of people will be murdered with their weapons.

vaximily said,

1. Websites are not responsible for the content posted by their users.
2. Copyright holders have protections against their content being illegally posted via DMCA Takedown notices.
3. Refer to 1 & 2 for why someone "going after YouTube" is irrelevant.

Agreed but what I would also like to see is the court system force these businesses to *prove* that the amount of money they're suing is for the amount of money lost. I don't know how they would prove such a case but they would have to establish that every person who watched it online decided not to purchase it in the real world; that would involve ringing up over a million viewers, asking each of them individually and having them sign a declaration, then bringing it together to show how much money was actually lost rather than these pie in the sky figures that are not backed up my objective facts.

Viacom will take a huge hit if that evidence is true for sure. Even if they just lose it'll still be a blow to them.

SkyyPunk said,
Wow...i wonder what proof YouTube has

well, you don't really make a claim like this unless you have some pretty solid evidence.

Brent1700 said,

well, you don't really make a claim like this unless you have some pretty solid evidence.

especially if you are Chief Counsel for YouTube (i.e. the head lawyer in their legal dept and overseeing the Viacom case)

boomn said,

especially if you are Chief Counsel for YouTube (i.e. the head lawyer in their legal dept and overseeing the Viacom case)

perhaps you meant "especially if you are NOT Chief Counsel for YouTube "
Rubbish is more the fact of kids than that of legal departments!

SkyyPunk said,
Wow...i wonder what proof YouTube has

probably pictures of the people from the google street crew, lol..

SkyyPunk said,
Wow...i wonder what proof YouTube has

Yeah. The line about Kinko's leads me to believe they have something though...

Brent1700 said,

well, you don't really make a claim like this unless you have some pretty solid evidence.

They got to have inside information. There must be some honest people at Viacom.

Brent1700 said,

well, you don't really make a claim like this unless you have some pretty solid evidence.

uploaded from kinkos and other companies not linked to viacom. Sounds solid to me.

tablet_user said,

uploaded from kinkos and other companies not linked to viacom. Sounds solid to me.


well, that's obviously not the evidence...

cabron said,

Yeah, I would like to see their evidences about it

But they seem to be too damn sure about what they said.....this could get really really interesting !! he he

SkyyPunk said,
Wow...i wonder what proof YouTube has

May be they have a witness, for example a former Viacom employee that do the dirty job.