YouTube vs. Viacom: “Rogue Enabler of Content Theft” vs. “Secretly Uploaded” Videos

As expected, when the legal documents were unsealed today in the YouTube-Viacom lawsuit, the charges and counter charges made for juicy reading.

YouTube vs. Viacom: “Rogue Enabler of Content Theft” vs. “Secretly Uploaded” Videos

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Viacom said Google executives had referred to YouTube as a “rogue enabler of content theft,” whose “business model is completely sustained by pirated content” in internal communications before going ahead with the 2006 purchase of the video site.

“For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there,” YouTube said. “It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately ‘roughed up’ the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko’s to upload clips from computers that couldn’t be traced to Viacom.”

Ah, the legal process. Don’t you love it? This is better than Tiger Woods, Jesse James or any of the other tabloid gossip du jour.

What’s my take? I don’t think either side looks “wicked smart.” You would have thought that someone living in their glass house would have figured that out before their lawyers started throwing stones.

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