A Viacom spokesperson called me a few minutes ago, breaking this news, and sending along an official statement. Today, MTVNetworks and its parent company Viacom, are issuing an ultimatium to Google/YouTube: remove unauthorized content or else...
MTVNetworks/Viacom says that over 100,000 unauthorized clips of its video content – representing 1.2 billion video streams - appearing within Google and YouTube, must be removed immediately from its site.
The recent talk of adding short video ads ahead of content on YouTube may have been the last straw for MTV and Viacom, who clearly did not want Google to profit from showing unauthorized clips.
After months of ongoing discussions with YouTube and Google, it has become clear that YouTube is unwilling to come to a fair market agreement that would make Viacom content available to YouTube users. Filtering tools promised repeatedly by YouTube and Google have not been put in place, and they continue to host and stream vast amounts of unauthorized video. YouTube and Google retain all of the revenue generated from this practice, without extending fair compensation to the people who have expended all of the effort and cost to create it. The recent addition of YouTube-served content to Google Video Search simply compounds this issue. Virtually every other distributor has acknowledged the fair value of entertainment content and has taken deliberate steps to concluding agreements with content providers.
We have great respect for and loyalty to our audiences. We host more than 130 authorized web sites where millions of fans visit and interact with our content. Our internet portfolio has more visitors than any other entertainment company and we are always seeking distribution relationships to ensure that any of our products and services are easily accessible on every platform.
Our hope is that YouTube and Google will support a fair and authorized distribution model that allows consumers to continue to enjoy our very popular content now and in the future.