News Corp., NBCU and Viacom are among companies threatening to sue the video aggregator for carrying their content without compensation, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In an apparent effort to pressure YouTube into cutting favorable licensing deals for their content, media giants are threatening to sue YouTube for slices of the advertising revenue it generates, according to a story in the WSJ’s Weekend Journal.
Each of the companies is already in negotiations with YouTube for a compensation deal, but the stakes have risen since the online video aggregator’s acquisition by Google. That combination is expected to greatly increase YouTube’s reach among Internet users.
YouTube’s legal liability is in doubt, however, because it may be covered under a safe harbor clause in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, which says Web hosting sites must take down content when notified that it is copyright protected. This forces content companies to constantly troll the web to find content that’s been posted without their permission and media companies complain that is onerous.