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Viacom Sues Google For More Than $1,000,000,000

By Internet Lawyer

Based on YouTube’s unauthorized showings of Viacom programs, Google (which now owns YouTube) is being sued for copyright infringement…for more than a billion bucks. Viacom contends that Google is making advertising income off of this video infringement.

Given the nature of the business model, look for Google to ultimately reach a settlement in this case whereby Viacom gets a cut of the ad revenues.

Hat tip to Reuters.

Michael Penland Makes 2007 Internet Marketing Predictions

By Internet Lawyer

Check out Michael Penland’s latest blog post: Two Predictions and Money Makers For 2007!

Penland analyzes where he sees things headed during the coming year in Internet marketing, both for video (Google, YouTube, etc.) and blogging.

The only caveat that I’d add is that the blogging prognostication needs to be tempered by recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) developments with regard to buzz marketing. For more on that check out my column at FTC Cracks Down On Word-Of-Mouth Ads.

Wishing you a prosperous new year!

Will DMCA Safe Harbor Provisions Protect MySpace In Infringement Lawsuit?

By Internet Lawyer

Universal Music Group has just sued for infringing upon its music videos and songs. This appears to be an attempt by Universal to pierce the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that would otherwise protect MySpace from liability if it promptly removed the infringing material upon notification of infringement.

At what point does the entertainment industry cross the bounds with shakedown suits and get slapped by Congress notwithstanding the lobbying efforts and campaign contributions? I’m not condoning infringement.

However, the DMCA is a draconion law whose safe harbor provisions is the one thing that protects legitimate businesses from being greenmailed into submission by RIAA, the MPAA, etc.

Universal, owned by Vivendi, forced YouTube into a settlement prior to acquisition by Google. Let’s hope that News Corp., the parent of MySpace, doesn’t capitulate and the judicial system upholds the safe harbor provisions.

There’s an old saying: pigs get fat while hogs get slaughtered. Universal should be content to be the former.

Hat tip to Alex Veiga at the Associated Press.