Viacom vs. YouTube: the Tip of the Iceberg

The billion-dollar lawsuit between Viacom and YouTube feels like a rerun. Haven’t we seen this show before? New technology from an upstart company is rapidly adopted by millions of users, transforms traditional media distribution and stretches the legacy copyright framework to its limits. Maybe these disputes are inevitable. The key players in the online content economy — content owners, hosts, search engines and ad networks — are still sorting out their respective rights and responsibilities in huge, emerging markets with few precedents.

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