Google chief slams YouTube attackers
Google has taken a swipe at media conglomerate Viacom, which is suing the search giant for $1 billion over “massive copyright infringement” by its video sharing site YouTube.
Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt, speaking with reporters at a hotel bar at the 25th annual Allen & Co. moguls meeting, said litigation was the foundation of the company that owns the MTV Networks, Paramount movies studio and video game developer Harmonix.
“Viacom is a company built from lawsuits, look at their history,” Schmidt claimed. “Look who they hired as CEO, Philippe Dauman, who was the general counsel for Viacom for 20 years,” he added.
Viacom has demanded that YouTube takes down thousands of segments from its popular programmes including The Daily Show with John Stewart, The Colbert Report and South Park.
The two sides have failed to reach a settlement ahead of the case, which begins in earnest this month.
Schmidt alluded to Viacom’s high profile 1989 $2.4 billion antitrust suit against Time Warner. The suit claimed Time Warner’s HBO pay cable movies service attempted to put Viacom’s rival service Showtime out of business by intimidating cable operators and Hollywood studios to give preferential treatment to HBO.
The suit was ultimately settled out of court by 1992. As part of the settlement, Time Warner paid $75 million and agreed to purchase a cable system owned by Viacom for an above market price, as well as agree to distribute Showtime more broadly on Time Warner cable television system.