San Francisco
– Before Viacom filed its $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit against
YouTube, Google (NASD:  GOOG) offered Viacom (NYSE:  VIA) $592 million in guaranteed revenues if the
company licensed its movies and TV shows to the site, according to newly
released documents from the ongoing lawsuit, CNET reported. Back in
2006, Google called content owned by Viacom — which includes MTV Networks,
Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures — the "most valuable content of any
other premium content provider."

Its offer to Viacom was reportedly five
times more than what it offered Time Warner’s (NYSE:  TWX) TBS, and eight times what it
offered CBS (NYSE:  CBS) to license content to YouTube.

Another revelation from the recent
document release was an email from Viacom general counsel Michael Fricklas that
suggests YouTube’s business model is protected under the Digital Millennium
Copyright Act.

"Mostly, YouTube behaves–and why not," Fricklas wrote
in July 2006.

"User-generated content appears to be what’s driving it
right now. Also the difference between YouTube’s behavior and Grokster’s is
staggering. While the Supreme Court’s language IS broad; the precedent is not
THAT broad."

CNET notes that it is unclear what effect, if any, the new
revelations will have on the pending case.


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