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YouTube Strikes Movie-Rental Deal with Paramount, Acquires 500 New VOD Titles

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood April 4, 2012 at 1:19PM

Clearly, Viacom's 2011 $1-billion lawsuit against YouTube is water under the bridge. Now Google Inc.'s YouTube has struck a movie-rental deal with Viacom's Paramount, adding 500 new titles to its expanding online library. YouTube's rental library now has more than 9,000 titles, which range from recent ("Hugo") to classic ("The Godfather").
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Hugo
Hugo

Clearly, Viacom's 2011 $1-billion lawsuit against YouTube is water under the bridge. Now Google Inc.'s YouTube has struck a movie-rental deal with Viacom's Paramount, adding 500 new titles to its expanding online library. YouTube's rental library now has more than 9,000 titles, which range from recent ("Hugo") to classic ("The Godfather").

Securing sought-after Hollywood entertainment is a smart move for Google, which is adding new "channels" by the day, as the same movies available on YouTube will be rentable on Android smartphones and tablets through Google Play.

Other studios that have reached VOD agreements with YouTube are Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros., Universal Pictures and Walt Disney Studios.

Viacom's lawsuit against YouTube centered on the alleged unauthorized posting of clips from popular TV shows. A U.S. District Court ultimately ruled that YouTube was protected from such infringement claims by the "safe harbor" provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

This article is related to: YouTube, Paramount, Viacom


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.