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 â€œmassive intentional copyright infringement of Viacomâ€™s entertainment properties.â€
Google aren’t bothered:
“Google said it hadnâ€™t yet received the lawsuit. â€œYouTube has respected the legal rights,â€ the Mountain View, Calif.-based company said in a statement, and Google and YouTube â€œbelieve the courts will agree.â€
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?