Viacom exec not satisfied with Google plan

The chief executive of media giant Viacom expressed reservations Thursday about Google’s plan to enter YouTube content into a database and give owners the chance to take down the material.

Viacom is suing Google for $1 billion over content being used on Google’s YouTube Web property without permission. Speaking at the Web 2.0 Summit event San Francisco, Viacom President/CEO Phillipe Dauman expressed a willingness to work with online media properties but was skeptical of the Google plan, called Video Identification.

Dauman said he had an open mind about reaching an agreement and that the announcement of Video Identification was a positive evolution. But it is not enough.

“I don’t think we’re quite there” said Dauman. Google, he said, can do things quickly if it wants to, he added. “I guess they haven’t wanted to at this point,” Dauman said.

Google wants a proprietary system that benefits just one company, but the solution has to be a cooperative effort, said Dauman. He added he suspects Viacom at some point in the future will work with Google. The company does have a good relationship with Facebook, he said.

Viacom has had its defenders, according to Dauman. “A lot of the technology companies out there welcome what we do,” he said. Companies have said it was about time somebody took a stand, Dauman added.

Like Google, Viacom has to protect its intellectual property. “I don’t see their algorithms being shared openly with competitors,” said Dauman.

“We took a step reluctantly because we had to,” he said.

Content producers need to be rewarded for what they do, Dauman said. “That nurtures creativity,” he said.

Viacom was part of a group of media and technology companies, along with vendors like CBS and Microsoft, that detailed Thursday principles intended to enable growth and development of user-generated content online while respecting intellectual property rights.

Featured in these principles is implementation of filtering technology to eliminate infringing content; upgrading of technology and cooperation in technology implementation, and development of procedures to address claims that content was blocked in error. Removal of content also is addressed.

Google was not a party to Thursday’s announcement.

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