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
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.”
quote: 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.