Viacom and Google accuse other of YouTube hypocrisy
Friday 19 March 2010
Viacom accused Google Inc of turning a blind eye to illegal video clips on its YouTube site in a bid to attract viewers, according to court documents released on Thursday.
Google countered that Viacom managers continued to secretly upload content to YouTube even after the media company had filed the $1 billion copyright suit in March 2007.
Viacom, which owns cable networks MTV and Comedy Central among others, charged that Google and YouTube executives were aware videos were being illegally uploaded to the site, failed to stop it, and, in some cases, broke the law by adding copyrighted clips themselves.
"YouTube was intentionally built on infringement and there are countless internal YouTube communications demonstrating that YouTube's founders and its employees intended to profit from that infringement," Viacom said in a statement on Thursday, as the documents were released.
As part of its evidence, Viacom provided excerpts from emails in 2005 between YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim. YouTube is a division of Google.
In a July 19, 2005 email, for instance, Chen wrote to Karim and copied in Hurley: "We're going to have a tough time defending the fact that we're not liable for the copyrighted material on the site because we didn't put it up when one of the co-founders is blatantly stealing content from other sites and trying to get everyone to see it."
YouTube Chief Counsel Zahavah Levine, on a blog post, said Viacom's brief "misconstrues isolated lines from a handful of emails."
The opening briefs in the Viacom vs YouTube lawsuit are widely seen as a test of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which YouTube believes protects it from Viacom's claims.
The law criminalizes the production of technology to circumvent anti-piracy measures while limiting the liability of providers of online services for copyright infringement by their users.
While it is still early in the legal battle, it appeared Google was trying to cast Viacom's strategy as hypocritical by claiming several of the company's own managers and agencies had continued to upload videos to YouTube.
"Viacom routinely left up clips from shows that had been uploaded to YouTube by ordinary users," said Levine in the blog post.
"Executives as high up as the president of Comedy Central and the head of MTV Networks felt 'very strongly' that clips from shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report should remain on YouTube," Levine said.
With YouTube being easily the most popular online video site, many TV producers upload clips of their shows for promotional purposes.
YouTube said this week its users upload up to 24 hours of video every minute.
Google also claimed Viacom had in 2006 expressed interest in buying YouTube, which the Web search leader subsequently bought months later for $1.65 billion.
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
Life & Style blogs
iPhone 6 review: bigger, thinner, faster, brighter - Apple proves you can make the best better
iPhone 6 Plus review: more like a small iPad that makes calls - but perfect for some
Jennifer Lawrence nude pictures leaked: Reddit removes 'The Fappening' board dedicated to sharing naked pictures of celebrities
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
Say yes to 'no-poo': It's been three years since I stopped washing my hair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
- 1 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained star's white boyfriend Brian Lucas confirms LAPD internally investigating 'racist' detainment
- 2 Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
- 3 Pakistani passenger power forces two politicians off plane
- 4 Say yes to 'no-poo': It's been three years since I stopped washing my hair
- 5 John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time: 'That was the lowest I'd ever felt'
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£55000 - £60000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: IT Proj...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SharePoint Administrator - Bishop's ...
£45000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client, a glob...
£20000 - £25000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...