Viacom Inc. sued YouTube and its parents, Google Inc., on Tuesday, seeking more than $1 billion in damages on claims of widespread copyright infringement.
Viacom claims that YouTube has used more than 160,000 unauthorized video clips from its cable networks, which include MTV, Comedy Central, VH1 and Nickelodeon.
Viacom is basically intimidated by Youtube because its programming is aimed at younger audiences who are heavy Internet users. Last month alone, Viacom demanded that YouTube remove more than 100,000 unauthorized clips.
In a statement, Viacom lashed out at YouTube's business practices, saying it 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."
Viacom said YouTube's 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."
Other companies also have had beef with YouTube over copyrights, but some, including CBS Corp. and General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal, have reached deals with the video-sharing site to license their material.Smart move!
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