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 Viacom sues Google over YouTube

Viacom has filed a $1 billion copyright infringement suit against Google. Viacom says Google's YouTube sevice is hosting 160,000 infringing works, which have been viewed 1.5 billion times. It alleges that YouTube "is a significant, for-profit organization that has built a lucrative business out of exploiting the devotion of fans to others' creative works in order to enrich itself and its corporate parent Google. Their business model, which is based on building traffic and selling advertising off of unlicensed content, is clearly illegal and is in obvious conflict with copyright laws."

Google managing counsel Michael Kwun wrote a peppered letter with the title "An End Run on Copyright Law" to the Washington Post in regards to the Viacom/ YouTube court case: "...Viacom is attempting to rewrite established copyright law through a baseless lawsuit. In February, after negotiations broke down, Viacom requested that YouTube take down more than 100,000 videos. We did so immediately, working through a weekend. Viacom later withdrew some of those requests, apparently realizing that those videos were not infringing, after all. Though Viacom seems unable to determine what constitutes infringing content, its lawyers believe that we should have the responsibility and ability to do it for them. Fortunately, the law is clear, and on our side."


  • March 14, 2007: Declan, McCullagh, YouTube's fate rests on decade-old copyright law, ZDNet:
    "Whether YouTube suffers the same fate as Napster may depend on the wording of a nearly antique law written long before video-sharing Web sites were envisioned."

  • March 13, 2007: Analysts: YouTube lawsuit may boost rivals, CNN:
    "Viacom's billion-dollar legal gambit against Google could lead to more media industry lawsuits and give a boost to rival online video services in the emerging marketplace."

Google's Answer and demand for Jury Trial




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