by Mike Masnick
Wed, Jul 30th 2008 5:24pm
While we all wait for the outcome of Viacom's billion dollar lawsuit against YouTube, it appears that some other media companies aren't waiting around. Italian media firm MediaSet, which just so happens to be owned by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, has sued YouTube and Google for $779 million (almost as much as Viacom is suing for!). MediaSet claims that the 4,643 videos on YouTube that infringe on its copyrights have cost it 315,700 viewer days. Apparently, MediaSet prefers not to take into consideration (a) that most videos on YouTube are limited to under 10 minutes, meaning that it's a poor replacement for watching on TV and (b) that people who watch on YouTube aren't necessarily people who would have watched it on TV and (c) that folks who watch something on YouTube may, in turn, be convinced to watch a show on TV that they wouldn't have watched otherwise. Why bother with little pesky details like that when you can just sue a huge company that has a lot of cash. Given that the Italian government is already trying to put Google execs in jail over some YouTube videos, this looks like a larger Italian campaign against YouTube in general.
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