YouTube hit with lawsuit from Viacom

In what may open the door for similar lawsuits from other media companies, (yep, the genie’s out of the bottle) Viacom has filed a lawsuit against YouTube and its parent Google, Inc. for $1 billion dollars in damages, due to the unauthorized clips from its cable networks (MTV, Comedy Central, etc.) that appeared on the popular site. Viacom ordered YouTube to take down 100,000 clips a few weeks ago after failing to develop software to weed out unauthorized material, and YouTube complied.

But since then, 50,000 more unauthorized Viacom clips have shown up on the site, and that apparently was the last straw.

This tussle is pretty much like the one Lance Briggs is going through with (his soon to be former team) the Bears. And much like the football player’s clash with his team, this battle between YouTube and Viacom is unlikely to have a happy ending.

UPDATE: Read Viacom’s legal complaint here. (Adobe Acrobat required)