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?
I posted the other day about Joost having released a client for Mac. Joost have since released an updated Mac client app which addresses a couple of issues with the first one. I have tried it out and find that the video is still quite jumpy – stopping and starting frequently which is something people won’t tolerate from TV programs.
Joost is still in beta though so I’m sure that will improve.
The big Joost story of the last couple of days was Joost’s deal with Viacom whereby Joost will be able to show some of Viacom’s content on launch.
From news.com’s report of the story:
The deal, announced Tuesday, is designed to bring television and theatrical content from Viacom’s brands–which include MTV Networks’ Comedy Central, as well as Black Entertainment Television and Paramount Pictures–to the Joost software upon its full launch.
The deal is limited, at least at first: many of Viacom’s most popular programs, such as Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report and South Park, will not be available initially. Some of the featured offerings, however, will be MTV’s My Super Sweet 16, Comedy Central’s Freak Show, BET’s American Gangster, as well as feature films from Paramount and its related brands.
No financial terms of the agreement were provided.
All well and good until I read Bernie’s take this morning – I think he was spot on when he said:
Joost lacks the social networking side of YouTube, where user views and user favourites count. The world needs a YouTube social network and the content makers need to have some revenue flow for their video productions.
James Corbett, disagrees though. James contends that:
there are also reports that Joost is in talks with British broadcasters ITV and Channel 4. Considering I can’t get Channel 4 here that would be a big win from my point of view. Which is why I disagree with Bernie Goldbach regarding the need for a social networking side.
See now James – that’s precisely why I think recommendation engines and other social tools would help Joost enormously. The more content Joost has, the harder it will be to find good shows and the more useful recommendations from people with similar taste will become.