Copyright? Right, Right, Viacom and Google Are Both Bullies

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


We won’t bore you with another news article about Viacom lunging at Google’s YouTube jugular. But there’s oh so much more to learn about these finicky media giants beyond copyright squabbles.

Dollars may be at issue with this lawsuit but its content that’s the real battleground. With each merger or media consolidation and with each ownership change, content is owned and determined by fewer, wealthier folks. News organizations are dealing with content wars in all kinds of ways, such as buying out older employees and investing more in online and niche operations.
Eric Klinenberg offers, another take on the media melee, arguing that the hunt for larger profit margins among traditional media companies, not the Internet and its subversion of original content, is what is in fact killing the news. And for well over 25 years Viacom has been trying smash the little guys with media mergers.

What do DreamWorks, Infinity Broadcasting, King World, BET, Blockbuster, Paramount, Showtime, UPN, and VH1 all have in common? They are all part of the Viacom/CBS media machine. Google, too, is not exactly an innocent bystander in the media intimidation game. The gobbler in many a merger, the fledgling giant runs fast and loose with that little thing called privacy. So we’ll see how things play out with this lawsuit, but truth be told they might just end up being one company someday, all owned by Time Warner maybe?

For a doomsday scenario for media in general check out the Museum of Media History’s mockumentary EPIC 2012 that predicts the final collapse of the Fourth Estate.

–Gary Moskowitz

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate