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Google Responds To Viacom Lawsuit

Google has released its official response to Viacom’s billion dollar lawsuit against its YouTube property, saying that Viacom is threatening the way everyone exchanges information on the internet. Google’s claim is that Viacom’s lawsuit completely ignores the DMCA, and as a result threatens to unravel it and introduce all sorts of chaos for websites and service providers. It’s a great arguement, basically calling on Viacom to either strike down a very important piece of legislation, or prove that Google didn’t follow the DMCA correctly (which, for a billion dollars, is gonna be real tough).

Google is also asking for jury trial. Not sure if that means they mean business, or if it’s a bad idea. After all, wouldn’t judges understand better than stupid juries that the DMCA is vital to the free exchange on the internet, while the rubes on the jury might just say “a copyright violation is a copyright violation”? I wouldn’t put my faith in a jury, especially on such a complex matter.

Seeking Alpha outlines a dozen defenses Google put forth, including that Viacom’s claims are wrong because of fair use (which will put fair use on trial, and maybe get it defined properly), that Google had “innocent intent” (yikes, not a great arguement), that Viacom is misusing copyright, that Viacom is guilty of “unclean hands” (an arguement that they could have stopped it, but didn’t want to get their hands dirty, and as a result made things worse), and that there are substantial noninfringing usage.

For god’s sake, I hope this goes to trial. There are so many legal points to be hashed out, it would be great to get a definitive answer from a court.

May 1st, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | YouTube, Controversy, Services, General | 3 comments


  1. I totally agree with you that this going to court would be a good thing in terms of the issues it would clean up. A court case such as that would answer a lot of questions that a lot of people have been asking for a while. Hopefully Google win, cause I dont think Viacom are in this for anything other than cash, I seriously doubt that youtube is damaging its buissness.

    Comment by Mortalmatt | May 1, 2007

  2. […] Google responds to Viacom’s lawsuit with a big, “Meh.” […]

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  3. […] Google responds to Viacom’s lawsuit with a big, “Meh.” […]

    Pingback by Hear This: On Digital Media, Episode #33: Me Too! | BrandBrains | May 6, 2007

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