Is anyone really surprised that Dick “No, we are not a sinking ship” Parsons at Time Warner is rattling the old copyright sabre at Google and YouTube? Much like Universal when it started muttering about YouTube stealing its content not too long ago — even as it was talking to the site about a deal on licensing — the media conglomerate seems to mostly be searching for negotiating leverage, as Mike Masnick at Techdirt points out, and Greg Sterling notes as well.
Notice that Parsons has not said he will sue, only that he is pursuing the copyright issue (or whatever weasely phrase he used). Universal didn’t say it would sue either — it just tried to come across as pissed off, as though it was thumbing through the Yellow Pages looking for a good copyright lawyer.
Before I get flamed by “copyright law is sacrosanct” types, I’m not saying Time Warner and Universal don’t have a point when it comes to the blatant posting of TV clips and videos. But I think their posturing says more about how they feel they need to deal with Google than about their real concerns over copyright. And just for the record, this does not make Mark Cuban right.