Apparently, Viacom wasn’t too thrilled about video clips from The Daily Show and The Colbert Report being freely viewable on YouTube for months. After asking YouTube to pull the content last October, the media company has now resorted to legal action and sued Google for a cool $1 billion in damages. As CNet reports, Viacom says nearly 160,000 video clips from its programming have been up on YouTube, and that the clips were viewed more than 1.5 billion times. Aside from the aforementioned shows, Viacom programming includes Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks movies as well as TV channels like Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and Spike TV.
Naturally, the lawsuit could invite other media companies to follow suit, although CNet says some industry observers believe that is doubtful. Google also doesn’t appear threatened, having said in a statement, “[We] are confident that YouTube has respected the legal rights of copyright holders and believe the courts will agree.”