Viacom, 'Decimated By Piracy,' But Its CEO Got The Biggest Raise Of Any Exec Anywhere

from the just-saying... dept

We keep hearing about how “piracy” and the internet are somehow “destroying” the old legacy content players, but the evidence for that seems lacking…. especially in Hollywood. We already saw how Warner Bros. was cheering on its record-setting quarter, while complaining about how it just can’t compete with piracy. And now we’ve got reader Don, passing along the news that Viacom chief Philippe P. Dauman topped the charts for the exec with the biggest pay raise in 2010. His total pay was $84.5 million last year — a 148.6% raise on his previous year’s take home. Yes, that’s a $50 million raise. Admittedly, much of that comes from stock options, but still. Not bad for a company being “decimated” by kids in their basements on the internet, huh? Maybe Viacom was just so sure that it was going to win its $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube that it decided to pre-reward Dauman.

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Comments on “Viacom, 'Decimated By Piracy,' But Its CEO Got The Biggest Raise Of Any Exec Anywhere”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Masnick is such a slimeball.

Dauman’s salary was actually DOWN almost 10%.

But because the overall stock market had an absolute rocket ride higher in 2010, this guy made more money (just like anyone else that owned stocks).

But just remember Mike Masnick’s new inference from all this:

There are rich people at entertainment companies, so it’s ok for you to rip them off.

I’m sure it’s only *their* content you’ll rip off, and not indies, right? LOL

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Yep, Chronno is right, how the fuck can you type if you can’t read?

But wait, I know, you got some android device with speech recognition and a screen reader. I knew it wasn’t magic!

On a more serious comment, it’s amazing on how ppl say “I like rainy days!” and you manage to twist it to “Then you admit you are going to blow up dams to cause floods? You terrorist.” – At least it’s funny.

The Logician says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Obvious only to those who seek to create such a fantasy, AC 37. Or live in it, as you do. Those of us who dwell in reality know otherwise. The fact that you provide no evidence for your position of any kind makes it invalid. That and your tendency to result to insults over actually addressing what is said. Your very presence proves that Mike is correct, because if he was not, you and your kind would not swarm his blog every day as you do. If indeed you and the other AC’s like you are not, in fact, the same person using multiple addresses. Which is, in fact, a distinct possibility.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Chronno, let’s be fair here. Exclude the single even stock options, and his salary is down. Why be so misleading? Truth is the stock options may be a “last hurrah” as the ship slowly sinks.

As for Mike and “pro-piracy”, all I can say is that his vehement opposition to SOPA and Protect IP seem pretty much in line with supporting piracy, or at least supporting the “soft” piracy of the remix culture.

Planespotter (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Or they could be in line with his vehement opposition to laws being passed on behalf of legacy industries who have failed to embrace change and the arrival of the digital era, laws which are written so broadly that they could impact on the very fabric of how the internet was created and stifle freedom of speech and the ideals put forth in the Constitution, ideals supposedly protected by the Supreme Court.

Franklin G Ryzzo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“As for Mike and “pro-piracy”, all I can say is that his vehement opposition to SOPA and Protect IP seem pretty much in line with supporting piracy, or at least supporting the “soft” piracy of the remix culture.”

I don’t follow your logic… What does one have to do with the other? Being a supporter of file-sharing is certainly not a prerequisite for opposing censorship. While there may be many people who do support file-sharing and oppose PIPA/SOPA, that is by no means the only group who has something to lose. In fact, I would say that file-sharers probably have the least to lose by this legislation since they really won’t make a dent in the availability of infringing content.

Unless Ad-Homs are the extent of your debating skills, I would request that you expand on your position to explain the perceived link between the two.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

We can say whatever we want at this point.

Mike Masnick is a piracy apologist and everyone knows it. He’s obsessed with saving piracy. His denials are pathetic and point to a very real mental illness; a person does not behave the way he does and say the things he says unless there are very serious issues with their pathology.

antimatter3009 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’ll give you that it’s a bit ridiculous to treat higher stock prices as a raise, but on the other hand would you expect the stock of a “decimated” company to be rising so fast? Shouldn’t they be crashing?

But like most of these companies, they’re making plenty of money. They’re just greedy, though only insofar as any business is greedy. They see unauthorized uses, add up the licensing fees they think they deserve for that, and say “well we could be making more money”. Any company would do the same, but it’s still missing the main points that are made repeatedly here: 1) those unauthorized uses are part of the reason they’re making so much money to begin with and 2) squeezing every penny out of our culture (music, movies, books, and so on are, to an extent, what define our culture after all) at the cost of limiting our access to that culture is not a fair trade.

These companies could make plenty of money while also improving everyone’s access to our cultural output, but they choose to only see the direct money side of the equation and fail at the rest. That’s where the point of contention lies IMO.

WDS (profile) says:

Re: Re: AC

The cash handed to him was down. However the increase was not from stock that he already owned, it was from new stock and options give to him in 2010. That is still an increase in salary.

To make it simple: Increase in value of stock already owned is Capital gains not salary.

Value of new stock and options given this year is salary.

WDS (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 AC

Please accept my apology for the lack of citation. I just assumed that someone making comments about this would have possible gone to the original article and read it.

So citation. CNNMoney article used Equilar Data. That data shows Dauman made rounded:
Base Salary 2.6 M
Cash Bonus 11.2 M
Stock Granted 41.8 M
Options Granted 28.6 M

GAAP says stock and options are valued at the time of granting, not at the time in the case of an option that they are exercised, and not at the time in the case of stock that it is sold.

Hence he received 84.4 M in value at the time that he received it. It is not other years options being cashed now with the stock price high. It isn’t something that was worth on 50 M when he received it, but then grew. The man received 84.4 M in salary.

John Doe says:

Re: Re: Re:3 OWS

Very good misdirection there, but we are on to your tricks. He is not inferring that piracy is ok as he is on the record many times stating that he doesn’t pirate and doesn’t think other should either.

What this article is pointing out that you fail to understand or you do understand but wish to obfuscate is that the claim that piracy is killing the industry looks pretty ridiculous in the face of record pay for the CEO.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Nov 7th, 2011 @ 8:08am

OWS is the beginning of the revolution. When the time comes, do not expect your government to behave any better than Syria’s. They are already tear gassing your people. Did you know that it is illegal under the conventions of war to use tear gas against the enemy? But it’s OK for your government to use it against it’s people.

abc gum says:

Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Nov 7th, 2011 @ 8:08am

“the internet social media allows them to clump together and think they are powerful”

… and this is the reason for the cloaked censorship attempt.

Piracy is simply the excuse for censoring all communications. There are those who fear the masses becoming more irate as the abuses increase in severity. The logical choice would be to stop abusing the general public and begin treating them like human beings – but that will probably not happen anytime soon because the peons are expendable.

MrWilson says:

Re: Re:

And there’s another good reason for piracy caused by the companies who complain about it. It’s not just entertainment companies of course, but the fact that so many companies are hoarding profits and not creating more jobs means fewer Americans have jobs and thus incomes in order to have the money to patronize their businesses. Fewer people would balk at the high prices of media these days if more people were doing well financially. The companies will say it’s not their fault, but look who is profiting and who is holding the money…

Jobs are created due to demand, not because companies are benevolent “job creators” and there will be less demand if consumers don’t have the money to make purchases (or pay for “licenses”). It’s a vicious cycle that ends with the corporations just finding another market to leech profits from after its drained the American economy dry and created Fritz Lang’s Metropolis here.

Etan (profile) says:

Re: VIacom? Piracy? WTF?

I agree with you, but Viacom owns a lot of media outlets, and there are a few good shows on Comedy Central. I haven’t had cable TV in 3 years, and now I live in a place with roommates who cannot live without it. The scene helped me live commercial free for a while. 95% of cable TV is pure drivel. You’re not missing anything.

Lord Scuttlebutt (profile) says:


It seems to me that the issue at hand isn’t Daumer’s bonus at all. He’s doing his job admirably! Making sure that all the right pockets are being greased in Washington is tough work. The real issue lies in Viacom’s overall financial situation when compared to the fuss they’ve been making over piracy. I’m willing to bet that Viacom’s financials don’t tell a story of victimization.
Don’t get me wrong…Piracy is wrong. But piracy isn’t ever going to go away completely. However, as Apple showed, if you give people the right product for the right price in the right way, piracy becomes marginal.

Carl says:


This has nothing to do with piracy. A goverment can only control the people by controlling the media. The Government has MPAA under its control. It wants to control the internet and its content. It is the one true thing that they can’t control, no matter how they try. This is just what Hitler, Stalin, and Lenin did. “BIG BROTHER” is here!

albert says:


Viacom and the other media outfits copied the policies of the old Hollywood movie moguls. Most movies never turn a profit, thanks to creative (not illegal) accounting practices. They need ‘piracy issues’ to justify sales downturns, lest they find themselves out of a job. Media middlemen make more, and do less, than any other product-producing business. Banks are worse, but they are non-productive businesses. The cure is to stop buying their products. A total boycott would ruin them, and even the government is crazy enough to subsidize them, though they might try.

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