Viacom's 'New' YouTube Documents Shed No Light - The UpStream

Viacom's 'New' YouTube Documents Shed No Light

posted Sunday Apr 18, 2010 by Scott Ertz

Viacom's 'New' YouTube Documents Shed No Light

I had all but forgotten that Viacom was crazy until this week. On Thursday, they released new documents in their Google/YouTube lawsuit. These documents allege, surprisingly, that Google intentionally profited from copyright infringement and coercion. Viacom said in a statement,

{Google} embraced infringement as a business model... Indeed, not long before the {YouTube} acquisition, the executive in charge of managing Google's core product offerings, including search, sent Google's co-founders and CEO an internal presentation explicitly advocating that Google use the threat of copyright theft to advance its business interests.

While, out of context, the document could be taken to say that Google was intentionally trying to get content providers to pay instead of Google ripping them off, a Google representation said,

It's revealing that Viacom is trying to litigate this case in the press... These documents aren't new. They are taken out of context and have nothing to do with this lawsuit.

Most of these documents are not new and were presented during the opening briefs of the case last month. The most noteworthy document to Viacom is a transcript from a deposition with Google CEO Eric Schmidt in which he impersonates Alberto Gonzales, saying he doesn't recall.

If you have forgotten the facts of the case from 2007, here is a brief recap. Google bought YouTube, which had no take-down policy for their content in regards to copyrights. Viacom majority owner Sumner Redstone states publicly that no one can estimate the value of the Internet and then preceded to sue YouTube for $1 billion. Google claims protection under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which says they are not responsible for the actions of their users so long as they respond to legal issues. Viacom disagrees and here we are 3 years later, no further along. Maybe they will reach a settlement before Redstone dies of old age or crazy pill overdose.

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