Google claims Viacom's suit damages the Net

By Justin Mann on May 27, 2008, 3:07 PM
A little less than a year ago, Google and Viacom went head to head after the latter filed a lawsuit against YouTube, which Google had acquired only 9 months prior. Viacom claimed it was due to massive copyright infringement that YouTube users were responsible for, and were demanding $1 billion in damages. As the fight continues, Google has taken a new stance on Viacom's suit, claiming that it is detrimental to the Internet and how people make use of it every day.

Google asserts that they are complying with copyright law, and in fact go beyond what is necessary to protect copyright holders on sites like YouTube. They also claim they are protected from liability since they do not personally publish material, only provide a medium for doing such. This is similar to how many torrent tracking sites accused of pirating end up defending themselves, claiming that making content available does not constitute infringement. The suit will still go on for quite some time, but Google's latest stance is an interesting one. They are actually stating that Viacom is threatening the way a huge number of legitimate websites are run and that if Viacom gets their way it could have vast implications.

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