YouTube lawsuit threatens Internet freedom: Google

May 28th, 2008 - 2:47 pm ICT by admin  

London, May 28 (ANI): Viacom International Inc.’s 1 billion dollar copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube threatens the way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange various kinds of content via the Internet, according to video sharing websites parent company Google.

Google’s claim comes after Viacom’s move to sue the video sharing service for failing to keep copyrighted material off its site.

In a rewritten lawsuit filed last month, Viacom claimed YouTube consistently allowed unauthorised copies of popular television programming and movies to be posted on its website and viewed tens of thousands of times.

It said it had identified more than 150,000 such clips, which included videos from shows such as South Park, SpongeBob SquarePants and MTV Unplugged.

In court documents submitted to a Manhattan court, Google’s lawyers maintained that YouTube had been faithful to the requirements of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act and that they responded properly to claims of infringement.

The search giant’s legal team also said that Google and YouTube goes far beyond its legal obligations in assisting content owners to protect their works.

However, Viacom disagreed either firm had lived up to that standard and said that they had done little or nothing to stop infringement.

Viacom, which is asking for damages for the unauthorised viewing of its programming, said its tally represented only a fraction of the content on YouTube that violates its copyrights.

“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,” BBC quoted Viacom, as saying.

Viacom originally started legal action last year and filed an amended version last month.

Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone told Dow Jones: “When we filed this lawsuit, we not only served our own interests, we served the interests of everyone who owns copyrights they want protected.”

“We cannot tolerate any form of piracy by anyone, including YouTube…they cannot get away with stealing our products,” he added.

Google said that the only way the legal action would be resolved was in court.

David Eun, Google’s vice president of content partnerships, said: “We’re going all the way to the Supreme Court. We’ve been very clear about it.”

After the legal action was first started, YouTube introduced an anti-piracy tool that checks uploaded videos against the original content in a bid to flag piracy. (ANI)

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