Viacom asks YouTube to remove unauthorized clips

MUMBAI: YouTube, the online video sharing site from Google faces yet another controversy as Viacom asks the website to remove more than 100,000 unauthorized clips from its hugely popular video-sharing site.

Viacom has been through several rounds of talks with YouTube and Google but has not managed a breakthrough as far as 'filtering' or 'revenue sharing' for clips and video is concerned.

Viacom said in a statement that after several months of talks with the website "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 has repeatedly negotiated with YouTube and Google to deliver on several "filtering tools" to control unauthorized video from appearing on the site.

Although the company is asking YouTube to take the clips down, it has not taken legal action.

Under federal copyright law, online services such as YouTube are generally immune from liability as long as it responds to takedown requests. But the legal lines blur when another user posts the same video.

YouTube said in a statement that it would comply with the request from Viacom and said that it cooperates "with all copyright holders to identify and promptly remove infringing content as soon as we are officially notified."

In November, YouTube had agreed to delete nearly 30,000 files after the Japan Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers complained of copyright infringement.

Some media companies such as CBS Corp. and General Electric Co., NBC Universal have made deals to allow YouTube to use video clips from their programming. But the site is yet to agree over ways to get compensated for the use of their copyrighted material.

Universal Music Group had threatened legal action for copyright infringement and piracy of music videos. It later reached a licensing deal with them last year.

Despite Viacom's problems with YouTube, the company's MTV Networks division reached a licensing deal last year with Google that allows the search company's video service to use clips from MTV and its sibling networks under a revenue-sharing agreement.

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