Google claims that lawsuit threatens Internet

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Google, the owners of YouTube, claimed in a court briefing today that the one billion dollar lawsuit against the company "threatens the way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange information."

The court where the lawsuit is taking place
Image: Sheila.

Viacom Inc. is suing Google over 150,000 videos, for which Viacom owns the copyright, that were allegedly being shown on YouTube. Google has responded by saying that they followed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which prevents companies from being prosecuted if they bring down copyrighted content as soon as they are made aware of it. "Viacom’s lawsuit challenges the protections of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that Congress enacted a decade ago to encourage the development of services like YouTube," said Google. "Congress recognized that such services could not and would not exist if they faced liability for copyright infringement based on materials users uploaded to their services. It chose to immunize these services from copyright liability provided they are properly responsive to notices of alleged infringement from content owners."

"Looking at the online world today, there is no question that Congress made the correct policy choice," Google continued. "Legitimate services like YouTube provide the world with free and authorized access to extraordinary libraries of information that would not be available without the DMCA -- information created by users who have every right to share it."

Google then claimed that "YouTube also fulfills its end of the DMCA bargain, and indeed goes far beyond its legal obligations in assisting content owners to protect their works."