Viacom so devastated by piracy that CEO gets $50 million raise

Last year, Viacom, whose Paramount subsidiary is an MPAA member, told the Wall Street Journal that “a new wave of digital piracy could threaten the US media business” if it lost its copyright infringement case against YouTube. Similarly, the MPAA has argued that “when profits are reduced, the studios have fewer dollars to invest in movies, and when there is less money to invest they make fewer movies and the diversity and variety of films we love become more limited.”

 

So we were interested in this CNN story on the 20 biggest CEO pay raises. The winner? Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman. He got a raise of $50.5 million in 2010. That represents an impressive 149 percent pay increase from his 2009 compensation of $34 million.

Iit makes us wonder about the merits of spending even more taxpayer dollars (and trampling civil liberties) to better protect Viacom copyrights. Making movies seems pretty profitable as it is. And it seems a bit counterintuitive for a company that says its business is threatened by piracy to be so lavish with executive compensation. Neither the MPAA nor Viacom were willing to comment on this story.

 

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