Google says Viacom's YouTube lawsuit threatens exchange of info on the Net
Response to amended complaint says YouTube goes 'far beyond' legal copyright obligations
Computerworld - Viacom International Inc.'s $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube LLC and its parent company, Google Inc., threatens the way that hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange various kinds of content via the Internet, Google contended in an answer to an amended version of the complaint filed by Viacom last month.
In court papers filed last Friday in U.S. District Court in New York, Google said that YouTube does more than it is required to do by federal law to help content owners protect their works. And Google claimed that by seeking through the lawsuit to make network carriers and hosting providers liable for Internet communications, Viacom is putting at risk the ability of online users to share "information, news, entertainment, and political and artistic expression."
Viacom declined to comment on Google's latest response. The entertainment company claims that YouTube and Google are infringing on its copyrights because nearly 160,000 Viacom-owned video clips have been made available for viewing on YouTube without authorization.
Google, which acquired YouTube in late 2006, said in its filing that the video-sharing Web site has adhered to the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The DMCA provides a framework for regulating copyrights in the world of electronic content. It gives copyright holders procedures to follow to protect their content when alleged violations occur, and it offers protections to Web-based businesses and Internet users to cover unintentional posting of copyrighted materials.
According to Google's filing, YouTube has responded to infringement complaints by content owners as required by the DMCA. YouTube "fulfills its end of the DMCA bargain, and indeed goes far beyond its legal obligations in assisting content owners to protect their works," Google said.
In its amended complaint, which requests a jury trial, Viacom said that while YouTube claims to be a forum for users to share their own original videos, a vast amount of the content posted on the site consists of "infringing copies" of Viacom's copyrighted works. That includes material from popular TV shows and movies such as SpongeBob SquarePants, South Park, An Inconvenient Truth, Mean Girls and many more.
"Unauthorized copies of these and other copyrighted works are posted daily on YouTube, and each is viewed tens of thousands of times," Viacom asserted in the amended complaint. It said that Google and YouTube have done almost nothing to stop the alleged copyright infringement, and have actually helped promote infringement by YouTube users.
"Defendants actively engage in, promote and induce this infringement," Viacom wrote, adding that YouTube "knowingly reproduces, distributes, publicly performs and publicly displays the copyrighted works uploaded to its site."
A federal judge ruled in March that Viacom couldn't add a request for punitive damages to the lawsuit, saying that such damages can't be collected under copyright laws.
Read more about Internet in Computerworld's Internet Topic Center.
- Data on the Move = Business on the Move; How Strategic Secure Managed File Transfer Adds Value and Drives Business This whitepaper describes the formal and informal file-sharing methods business employees use to perform their daily functions and explains that, from sending small...
- Path Selection Infographic Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster...
- Preparing Your Infrastructure for the Hyperconvergence Era From cloud computing and virtualization to mobility and unified communications, an array of innovative technologies is transforming today's data centers.
- Supercharge Your Web and Mobile App Development with High-Productivity Hybrid Cloud Webinar: Hear from industry experts about the amazing power at the intersection of next-generation web and mobile application development and cloud platforms.
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users? All Internet White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!