Skip to comments.YouTube: Viacom challenge threatens Internet freedom
Posted on 05/26/2008 1:17:26 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
NEW YORK - A $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit over YouTube's ability to keep copyrighted material off its popular video-sharing site threatens how hundreds of millions of people exchange all kinds of information on the Internet, owner Google Inc. said.
The company's lawyers made the claim in papers filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan as Google responded to Viacom Inc.'s latest lawsuit alleging that the Internet has led to "an explosion of copyright infringement" by YouTube and others.
The back-and-forth between the companies has intensified since Viacom brought its lawsuit last year, saying it was owed damages for the unauthorized viewing of its programming from MTV, Comedy Central and other networks, including such hits as "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."
In papers submitted to a judge late Friday, Google said YouTube "goes far beyond its legal obligations in assisting content owners to protect their works."
It said that by seeking to make carriers and hosting providers liable for Internet communications, Viacom "threatens the way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange information, news, entertainment and political and artistic expression."
Google said YouTube was faithful to the requirements of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, saying the federal law was intended to protect companies like YouTube as long as they responded properly to content owners' claims of infringement.
On that score, Viacom says Google has set a terrible example.
In a rewritten lawsuit filed last month, Viacom said YouTube consistently allows unauthorized copies of popular television programming and movies to be posted on its Web site and viewed tens of thousands of times.
Viacom said it had identified more than 150,000 unauthorized clips of copyrighted programming including "SpongeBob SquarePants," "South Park" and "MTV Unplugged" episodes and the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" that had been viewed "an astounding 1.5 billion times."
The company said its count of unauthorized clips represents only a fraction of the content on YouTube that violates its copyrights.
It said Google and YouTube had done "little or nothing" to stop infringement.
"To the contrary, the availability on the YouTube site of a vast library of the copyrighted works of plaintiffs and others is the cornerstone of defendants' business plan," Viacom said.
You tube is no different from Napster in this regard. If Napster went down then Youtube should also.
How long will it take for this lawsuit to damage Google stock?!?
The funny thing is Viacom doesn’t realize that this lawsuit hurts them too.............. youtube is like free marketing for their product!!
In other words, they had to amend the complaint because the first time they didn't have a case.
"An Inconvenient Truth" that had been viewed "an astounding 1.5 billion times."
I think incredible is a better adjective for this claim than astounding. Clearly 300,000,000 people did not each view this thing 5 times, not with the vote totals that Hillary got.
The funniest one was when they tried Suing the original MP3.Com back when it was pretty much all Indy artists selling their tunes...claiming they were protecting the rights of artists everywhere.
Yep. Sure believe that. Viacom got a copy of the Google business plan and right there in black and white, page 3, it said that the way Google forecast making lots of money was to create vast libraries of copyrighted material and distribute it for free. In a footnote it showed how much revenue was expected from free distribution.
Sure. I believe the lying sleezebag attorneys who wrote that.
The funny thing is Viacom doesnt realize that this lawsuit hurts them too.............. youtube is like free marketing for their product!!
“You tube is no different from Napster in this regard. If Napster went down then Youtube should also.”
One tiny difference - Napster didn’t have Google’s billions to defend itself with.
Careful. Pretty soon we will see lawsuits against potential customers for conspiracy failure to purchase their products.
Hmmm? Intriguing presupposition?