Expect fireworks Thursday in Viacom vs. Google

Information is coming in three-year copyright battle that is "potentially embarrassing" to both sides, sources say.

The copyright showdown between Google and Viacom, parent company of Paramount and MTV, is finally about to start playing out before the public.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt Elinor Mills/CNET

Expect fireworks.

Viacom filed a $1 billion copyright complaint three years ago against Google, accusing the search engine of profiting from and encouraging copyright infringement on YouTube. Google denied the allegations and said the Digital Millennium Copyright Act protects the company and all Internet service providers from liability for infringing activity by users. On Thursday, we'll get to see what kind of documentation the two companies possess to support their claims.

Sources close to the case said in October that information cropped up during the discovery process that is "potentially embarrassing" to both sides.

The documents will be unsealed as both companies have now filed for summary judgment, essentially claiming that there's enough undisputed evidence for the judge to rule in their favor.

In October, CNET reported that sources close to the case said that YouTube employees uploaded unauthorized content and that managers there knew and discussed the existence of unauthorized content on the site with employees, but chose not to remove the material.

Court documents already available to the public show that Viacom employees uploaded their own clips to YouTube. Google is likely to argue that this is proof there's no way for the company to determine whether material posted to the site is authorized or not.

How all of this will affect the case is still unclear, but the arguments are scheduled to be completed in June.

 

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