To Every Cow Its Calf

Several news outlets are quite excited over the court order entertainment giant Viacom secured against Google.

The eponymous search engine must hand over details of the videos watched by users of YouTube.

Viacom claims Google has infringed it’s copyright, while Google says it is not responsible for YouTube content, and removes any material if there’s a complaint.

And it argues that the majority of videos on the website are made by users.

Viacom wants access to the data to see if this last argument is true.

Viacom will never see the raw data, which will be handed over to independent examiners.

But reading some reports, one might think Viacom was about to go after anyone who ever watched their favourite video on YouTube.

Perhaps Vicaom is playing a long game, and ultimately plans to do just that.

If that’s plan, then they’ve missed the boat.

The BBC – through iPlayer – is already streaming content on the internet. Even lowly RTÉ is putting its content on the web.

It’s become almost a cliche to say old media companies don’t get the internet.

Content may not be free, but it’s out there. Viacom needs to think more about marketing, and less about lawsuits.

By Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and podcaster, yet still finds himself underemployed.