Viacom, Google Still in Copyright Infringement Battle over YouTube

Lora Bentley

Google and Viacom are still going at it in court over videos that were allegedly uploaded to YouTube illegally. Viacom argues that YouTube's founders not only knew copyrighted videos were on the site, but they actually uploaded some themselves in the site's early days when they were trying to grow it quickly. Google counters with e-mails indicating that Viacom employees and contractors also "leaked" the company's own videos by putting them on YouTube.


These allegations and "machinations" were made known when three years' worth of documents in the case were opened to the public Friday. reports:

The bizarre aspect of this case is that both YouTube and Viacom generally work happily together today.... This case is about the early days of YouTube, before it had robust copyright protections put into place and when, Viacom execs allege, the co-founders actively encouraged uploads of "Daily Show" and "South Park" clips and then were slow to take them down...


The court is expected to rule on both parties' motions for summary judgment in the next few months.


Writer Michael Learmonth also notes something else that's evident from the documents: Shortly before Google bought the video-sharing site for $1.65 billion, Viacom also seriously considered acquiring it. At the time, a former MTV exec said the purchase would "immediately make [MTV Networks/Viacom] the leading deliverer of video online, globally."

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