Viacom sent a notice to Google’s YouTube video-sharing site Friday demanding the removal of more than 100,000 unauthorized clips of Viacom content.
The take-down notice came after what Viacom said were months of fruitless negotiations to reach a distribution deal.
The Viacom content in question -- which the company claimed represents 1.2 billion video streams viewed to date -- comes from its entire stable of media properties, including MTV, BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures.
“After months of ongoing discussions with YouTube and Google, it has become clear that YouTube is unwilling to come to a fair market agreement that would make Viacom content available to YouTube users,” Viacom’s statement said. “Filtering tools promised repeatedly by YouTube and Google have not been put in place, and they continue to host and stream vast amounts of unauthorized video.”
In a prepared statement, YouTube responded that it would comply with Viacom’s request, adding that it takes copyright issues “very seriously.” YouTube continued: “It's unfortunate that Viacom will no longer be able to benefit from YouTube's passionate audience, which has helped to promote many of Viacom's shows.”
According to Viacom, YouTube and Google retain all of the ad-related revenue sold against Viacom content, “without extending fair compensation to the people who have expended all of the effort and cost to create it.” Viacom said it has content-licensing agreements with more than 130 authorized Web sites.
Another issue, according to Viacom, is that it cannot control the nature of the advertising that YouTube sells against its content.
Google closed its $1.7 billion acquisition of YouTube in November.