Google v. Viacom

Google Calls Viacom Suit on YouTube Unfounded

In its response to the lawsuit, filed Monday in Federal District Court in Manhattan, Google said that Viacom’s claims were unfounded and asked for a judgment dismissing the complaint.

[…] Google’s court filing gives few new details of its legal thinking, which relies heavily on the so-called “safe harbor” provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, enacted in 1998. Those provisions generally hold that Web sites’ owners are not liable for copyright material uploaded by others to their site as long as they promptly remove the material when asked to do so by the copyright owner.

The 1998 law “balances the rights of copyright holders and the need to protect the Internet as an important new form of communication,” Google said in its filing. “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.”

Viacom said Google’s response misses the mark. “This response ignores the most important fact of the suit, which is that YouTube does not qualify for safe harbor protection under the D.M.C.A.,” Viacom said. “It is obvious that YouTube has knowledge of infringing material on their site, and they are profiting from it.”