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Google says that Viacom's lawsuit threatens the way of Internet life

Last month, Viacom filed a lawsuit against Google alleging that the Mountain View, Calif. software company intentionally committed massive copyright infringement of Viacom’s properties. The lawsuit seeks more than $1 billion in damages, in addition to an injunction that will prohibit Google/YouTube from further copyright infringement.

Google has now released an official statement (PDF hosted at CNET) denying that it has done any wrongdoing. “By seeking to make carriers and hosting providers liable for Internet communications, Viacom's complaint threatens the way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange information, news, entertainment, and political and artistic expression,” read the statement.

In response to Viacom’s claim, Google’s associate general counsel Alexander Macgillivray said that the 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.

Viacom says that YouTube would not qualify for protections under the DMCA, claiming that Google has prior knowledge of copyright infringement of its hosted material. Furthermore, Viacom is refuting Google’s claim that it is unable to identify all the types of content posted on YouTube.

“It is obvious that YouTube has knowledge of infringing material on their site and they are profiting from it,” Viacom said in a statement. “It is simply not credible that a company whose mission is to organize the world's information claims that it can't find what's on YouTube.”

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RE: Anyone remember the USENET?
By Zirconium on 5/1/2007 9:01:56 AM , Rating: 3
One has to ask if Viacom had the sense to provide Google/Youtube with a list of materials which they insist be removed or not allowed in the first place.
Viacom already asked that clips be removed from YouTube; they complied, but they did not put filters in place to prevent such clips from being reposted. Furthermore, it is very likely that YouTube can keep copyright material off the site, since they are already doing a very good job of policing against pornography.

RE: Anyone remember the USENET?
By edpsx on 5/1/2007 10:18:36 AM , Rating: 1
Sounds like Viacom is getting all pissy because their joint deal didnt work out. That or they figured they could try and get some free money. I'm with Google on this one. They are trying to do what is going to end up happening sooner or later anyways, all information will be freely(for the most part) accessible to anyone from anywhere on the planet.

RE: Anyone remember the USENET?
By zombiexl on 5/1/2007 2:56:46 PM , Rating: 2
Google got hit with lawsuits iught after they bought YouTube. They knew it would happen and I suspect they planned for it.

It was common knowledge that YouTube was not very good at keeping copyrighted materials from their site. It was also common knowledge that they didnt have a pot to piss in (so to speak). All the corporate lawyers did was what whats makes sense... waited until it was worth suing.

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il
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