Viacom and Google have been warring, in court mind you, over copyright allegations that the prior had leveled against the latter in regards to YouTube content and Google's apparent lack of interest in enforcing said copyrights. If you have uploaded a video to YouTube lately you know how fast they now catch copyrighted music so they have come a long way since 2007 when the lawsuit was filed.
The proverbial hatchet was buried outside of the courtroom as the two companies announced a settlement deal with just this simple statement.
Google and Viacom today jointly announced the resolution of the Viacom vs. YouTube copyright litigation. This settlement reflects the growing collaborative dialogue between our two companies on important opportunities, and we look forward to working more closely together.
Important opportunities hmm? I have to believe that it was Viacom that came to the table after having been told no by a court of law twice in the past 5 years in this case.
The case has been old news for some time as Google has implemented a lot of copyright protections including ContentID tracking, content take down ability and the ability to place complementary (not complimentary I'm sure) ads against that content to boost their brand awareness, etc.
One has to imagine that today's settlement was a long time coming and the two companies were probably just waiting for the courts to catch up to what has occurred in the marketplace. Google and Viacom have already started doing business together in other fashion, for example Paramount, Viacom-owned, has movies on YouTube available for rent, so this was just the final nail in the coffin of a long overdue burial I think.
According to reports, no money changed hands. Probably because they spent it all on lawyers already. The settlement does show the progress that everyone has made over the years. I don't think Viacom now sees Google or YouTube as the enemy, instead as a new avenue to capture some potential profit. That probably goes the same for a lot of companies who didn't like how the world jumped on the Internet video bandwagon and started making millions of clips using copyrighted video and music. Now, they have learned to overcome their fear and even advertise with the content. I'd be curious to see how that has panned out for companies actually. It could be an amazing case study.