Viacom, an entertainment giant, has filed a $1 billion lawsuit
against YouTube. The court case was originally filed in 2007 but was rewritten last month. In the updated version, the company argues that YouTube constantly allows copyrighted material to be posted on its site, including material from cable channels owned by Viacom, such as MTV and Comedy Central.
Google, the parent company of YouTube, has responded to the lawsuit by saying this “threatens the way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange information, news, entertainment and political and artistic expression”.
Viacom argues that it has found more that 150,000 clips on YouTube which were not permitted, and that the site has done nothing to bring to an end the breach of copyright.
After the lawsuit was originally filed, YouTube launched an anti-piracy tool that was intended to check uploaded videos against the original content in an attempt to identify pirated clips. However Viacom believes that YouTube is still violating copyright laws.
Google maintains that YouTube meets its legal responsibility in protecting owner’s content also confirming that YouTube has remained consistent with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998.
Viacom’s Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone said; “When we filed out lawsuit, we not only served our own interests, we served the interests of everyone who owns copyrights that they want protected… We cannot tolerate any form of piracy by anyone, including YouTube… they cannot get away with stealing our products”.
The Vice President of Google has made it clear that they intend to fight the claims made by Viacom and settle this matter in court. No doubt this won’t be the last we hear about this issue. Feel free to leave a comment on your opinion on the topic.