Much has been said about the fact that Viacom are suing Google for $1bn because YouTube (now owned by Google) hosted Viacom copyrighted shows.
Technically, Viacom are well within their rights to sue Google for this copyright infringement but what good does it do Viacom, apart from adding up to $1bn to their bottom line, if they win?
They will have lost massive goodwill and a ton of free PR! How much traffic was YouTube sending to Viacom and how much free publicity were Viacom shows receiving by being featured on YouTube?
Robert Scoble, speaking on this topic the other day said:
PodTech tried that strategy. To watch my videos you used to have to go to PodTech. Then in January we let go a little bit of our controlling attitude and made a player that you can embed on your own site. What happened?
PodTech, by allowing people to place in their blogs PodTech’s copyrighted videos, tripled their audience.
Viacom on the other hand have forced YouTube to take down Viacom’s copyrighted videos and are suing YouTube.
Is there even a short-term gain for Viacom here?