Google, Paramount sign licensing deal for 500 movies

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has signed a deal with Paramount that will bring 500 new titles to YouTube and its new Google Play store. The movies, which will be available to users in the United States and Canada, will include some oldies, like The Godfather, as well as newer fare such as Transformers and Hugo.


Paramount licenses films like Hugo (pictured) to YouTube and Google Play.

Google's movie rental library now tops 9,000 titles.

"Paramount Pictures is one of the biggest movies studios on the planet. We're thrilled to bring nearly 500 of their films to movie fans in the US and Canada on YouTube and Google Play," said Malik Ducard, director of content partnerships at YouTube.

While terms of the deal weren't revealed, it's interesting to note that this is the same Paramount whose parent company, Viacom, still is embroiled with Google in a $1.76 billion lawsuit over copyright issues that dates back to 2007. Viacom lost that suit, but appealed. The suit contends YouTube execs allowed copyrighted episodes of programs like South Park, SpongeBob SquarePants and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to be viewed on the website. Viacom has appealed a summary judgment ruling in favor of Google.

Viacom has continued to pursue the suit, perhaps in the process casting a pall over Google's attempts to become more of a Hollywood player.

Google has, however, managed to put together a sizeable library of titles, including films and contents from Disney, Sony, Universal, Warner Bros. and a bevy of independent studios. Only 20th Century Fox has so-far refused to license movies to Google.

YouTube currently rents its films for 24 to 48 hours, charging between $2.99 and $3.99.

For more:
- see the YouTube blog
- see this AP article

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