Technology

Google, Viacom faceoff continues













MUMBAI: The standoff between US media conglomerate Viacom and the world‘s most valuable media firm Google over the latter‘s social netwoking video site Youtube shows no signs of abating.


It was in March that Viacom sued Google for massive intentional copyright infringement of Viacom’s entertainment properties. The suit seeks more than $1 billion in damages, as well as an injunction prohibiting Google and YouTube from further copyright infringement.

 

Google has now responded to the suit. Google has denied all claims made by Viacom, other than the obvious fact that it had acquired YouTube and the fact that its users are allowed to upload video to the site.


Viacom‘s complaint Google says threatens the way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange information, news, entertainment, and political and artistic expression. Google and YouTube respect the importance of intellectual property rights, and not only comply with their safe harbor obligations under the DMCA, but go well above and beyond what the law requires.


Viacom meanwhile responded saying that it was obvious that YouTube has knowledge of infringing material on their site and they are profiting from it. "It is simply not credible that a company whose mission is to organise the world‘s information claims that it can‘t find what‘s on YouTube."

 

Google contends that it has not violated the rights of the media conglomerate based on a provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), enacted in 1998. "Viacom‘s complaint in this action challenges the careful balance established by Congress when it enacted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The DMCA balances the rights of copyright holders and the need to protect the Internet as an important new form of communication," Google said in a 12-page response to the lawsuit.


Google media reports state says that it has instituted tools to help copyright owners to identify clips that may violate their rights. The tools, such as digital hashing prevent YouTube users from repeatedly uploading a video once it has been removed from the site.


Reports add that no matter who wins the lawsuit experts predict that the case will have long-term effects on the user-generated content phenomenon and online video distribution. For its part, Congress will have to take another look at the DMCA.

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