TO: All Viacom Employees
FROM: Philippe Dauman
As you already know, Viacom has spent months trying to come to an agreement with Google and YouTube in order to provide our popular video content on the YouTube platform. Unfortunately, they refused to negotiate a reasonable licensing offer. Instead, YouTube continues to take no responsibility for airing copyrighted content, and selling advertising against it. None of this advertising is shared with us, and despite many promises, Youtube has not taken any significant steps to keep our creative works off the site and no timetable has been set.
Therefore, today Viacom has brought action in U.S. District Court against Google and YouTube in order to protect our creative works from their continuing and intentional infringement, and to be compensated for the significant past infringement of our copyrights, which resulted in damages in excess of $1 billion.
The decision to take this step was thoughtfully considered by our entire management team and our Board of Directors. We had hoped and expected that Google and YouTube would voluntarily comply with the law, and would respect the creativity and hard work of the people whose imagination, effort and investment created some of the most popular entertainment on their platform. We have continued at our expense to take down our content from YouTube but have seen no significant movement from Google or YouTube to rectify this untenable situation.
As always, I greatly appreciate all your continued good work and support.