How much did Google spend to fend off Viacom’s $1 billion copyright lawsuit? On today’s earnings call, CFO Patrick Pichette revealed that Google’s legal bills for the case amounted to $100 million, and that was before it went to trial.
The legal bill could have ended up being many times that amount, but last month the judge threw out the case, and Google declared victory. Viacom will reportedly try to appeal, but the summary judgement was pretty harsh. As I wrote at the time:
The fact that the judge granted YouTube’s summary motion to dismiss the case sends a clear message to media companies: Live by the DMCA, Die by the DMCA. The “safe harbor” provision in that Act is what protects YouTube and other Websites from being sued for the copyright infringement of their users as long as they take down infringing material. The judge found that while there were a huge number of infringing videos on YouTube, the site did take them down when notified. In fact, he points out one instance in 2007 when Viacom gave YouTube a single takedown notices for 100,000 videos. By the next day they were down.
Unless Viacom can find a judge who interprets the DMCA more liberally, this lawsuit is going nowhere. YouTube is here to stay, as long as Google has billions of dollars of cash in its war chest.
If Google spent $100 million on lawyers, I wonder how much Viacom spent.
Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and Google+, the company’s extension into the social space. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing...
YouTube provides a platform for you to create, connect and discover the world’s videos. The company recently redesigned the site around its hundreds of millions of channels. Partners from major movie studios, record labels, web original creators, viral stars, and millions more all have channels on YouTube. YouTube is predominantly an ad-supported platform, but also offers rental options for a growing number of movie titles. YouTube was founded in 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, who...
Viacom, short for “Video & Audio Communications”, is an American media conglomerate with various worldwide interests in cable and satellite television networks (MTV Networks and BET), and movie production and distribution with Paramount Motion Pictures Group. The new Viacom conglomerate was finalized in September of 2006 is considered to be the “high-growth” side of the much larger former Viacom. The former Viacom was renamed CBS Corporation, from which this firm was split off on December 31, 2005.