Google Sued By Viacom. For A Lot!

The news is all over the place:

“Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B) today announced it has filed suit against YouTube and Google alleging “massive intentional copyright infringement of Viacom’s entertainment properties.”

Google aren’t bothered:

“Google said it hadn’t yet received the lawsuit. “YouTube has respected the legal rights,” the Mountain View, Calif.-based company said in a statement, and Google and YouTube “believe the courts will agree.”

My guess is this is a negotiating ploy by Viacom to up the stakes on revenue share. Google, of course, could drag this out for years, if necessary. Meanwhile, it’s difficult to see how YouTube won’t become the premier destination for web video in that time, thus increasing the pressure on Viacom to play ball, because where there are eyeballs, there is revenue.

The question is one of opportunity cost. How much would Google lose in advertising dollars during that time?

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