Clearly, Viacom’s 2011 $1-billion lawsuit against YouTube is water under the bridge. Now Google Inc.’s YouTube has struck a movie-rental deal with Viacom’s Paramount, adding 500 new titles to its expanding online library. YouTube’s rental library now has more than 9,000 titles, which range from recent (“Hugo”) to classic (“The Godfather”).
Securing sought-after Hollywood entertainment is a smart move for Google, which is adding new “channels” by the day, as the same movies available on YouTube will be rentable on Android smartphones and tablets through Google Play.
Other studios that have reached VOD agreements with YouTube are Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros., Universal Pictures and Walt Disney Studios.
Viacom’s lawsuit against YouTube centered on the alleged unauthorized posting of clips from popular TV shows. A U.S. District Court ultimately ruled that YouTube was protected from such infringement claims by the “safe harbor” provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.