Viacom position on YouTube lawsuite

Written on March 26, 2021 by admin

Viacom initiated litigation against YouTube and Google this month for their long-standing infringement of Viacom’s copyrights. YouTube defends itself from copyright infringement based on one narrow slice of the DMCA: protecting service providers who store copyrighted material solely and simply “at the direction of a user.” File storage Web sites allow users to back up their hard drives without needing to patrol every file and without fear of copyright liability.

What the DMCA doesn’t do is protect YouTube.

Does YouTube have “knowledge” of copyrighted material on its site? If the public knows what’s there, then YouTube’s management surely does. YouTube’s own terms of use give it clear rights, notably the right to take anything down. YouTube actively monitors its content. Without knowledge and control, how could YouTube create “channels” and “featured videos” sections on its site? YouTube has even offered to find infringing content for copyright owners — but only if they do a licensing deal first.

Is it fair to burden YouTube with finding content on its site that infringes others’ copyright? Not only does intellectual property drive our exports, it’s a key part of what distinguishes developed economies from developing ones. Protecting intellectual property spurs investment and thereby the creation of new technologies and creative entertainment. This creates jobs and benefits consumers. Google and YouTube wouldn’t be here if not for investment in software and technologies spurred by patent and copyright laws.


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