Google Responds to Viacom's $1 Billion Lawsuit
March 14, 2007 12:00 PM
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Google says its protected by the DMCA
Yesterday, Viacom dropped a $1 billion lawsuit bomb on Google, claiming that the search giant "intentionally" allows users to post copyrighted material on its YouTube website. Today, Google's lawyers indicated that
Google has a very strong legal stance against Viacom's claims
. Under current copyright laws, Google indicated that it was well protected.
According to Google's associate general counsel Alexander Macgillivray, his company's actions are within the protections of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). "Here there is a law which is specifically designed to give Web hosts such as us, or... bloggers or people that provide photo-album hosting online ... the 'safe harbor' we need in order to be able to do hosting online," Macgillivray said.
Just a few days ago,
reported on the new Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing U.S. Entrepreneurship (FAIR USE) Act, which
lightens the restrictions imposed by the DMCA
even more so. In fact, the FAIR USE act aims to protect companies that provide products and services to consumers, from being sued by the likes of such organizations as the RIAA.
"This is an area of law where there are a bunch of really clear precedents, so Amazon and eBay have both been found to qualify for the safe harbor and there are a whole bunch more," said Macgillivray. Google said in a statement that it plans to have YouTube continue its services.
"We will continue to innovate and continue to host material for people, without being distracted by this suit," continued Macgillivray. Google previously won in a case involving similar copyright issues where it won based on safe harbor protection and other grounds.
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RE: Sorry, does not fly
3/15/2007 3:13:55 PM
Nobody says that they're required to do so. I'm just saying that doing so makes YouTube qualitatively different from an ISP, which was the entity that the Safe Harbor rule was created to protect.
As a side note, ISPs have actual information on their users... like names, addresses, credit card info. That user information can be subpoenaed by a court in order to find the user and hold him responsible for crimes committed on the ISP's servers (the ISP is not held liable). This is not the case with YouTube. You can sign up for a billion different non-verified e-mail addresses through Yahoo, Hotmail, Bangladesh or Vanuatu or whatever kind of websites you want, and use each one to create yet another anonymous YouTube account. YouTube has no clue who most of their users are.... especially the ones who are breaking copyright laws.
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