Google has responded to Viacom's $1 billion March copyright lawsuit, arguing that it is protected by the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act and has not infringed on the rights of the media company. Google believes that the lawsuit threatens the viability of its popular YouTube video-sharing Web site as well as others like it. "We think YouTube offers the world's leading platform for entertainment, education and free speech. We're not going to let this lawsuit distract us," said Michael Kwun, managing counsel for litigation at Google. A case management conference is scheduled for July 27 and the judge may set the initial case schedule at that time, Kwun said.
Viacom denied that YouTube qualifies for protection under the DMCA, arguing that the company has prior knowledge of infringing material and is also profiting from pirated works: "It is 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 organize the world's information claims that it can't find what's on YouTube."
Google offers "best of class tools" for protecting copyright owners, primarily for identifying content on the site that copyright owners have complained about, Kwun said. "We already have in place a digital hash blocking system" that identifies the digital "fingerprint" of content that has been removed for copyright reasons. In addition, YouTube prevents the uploading of any video longer than 10 minutes, a function designed to prevent pirating of full-length copyrighted content.
News source: News.com