Google says Viacom's suit 'threatens' Net

Legal response says Viacom's rewritten suit "threatens the way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange information" over the Web.

Viacom's $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube "threatens the way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange information" over the Web, YouTube parent Google said in a legal response to the suit.

The response, reported by the Associated Press, was filed late Friday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Google says the threat comes from Viacom's attempt to make "carriers and hosting providers" liable for what people post. Google, by the way, has said this suit will only be resolved in court .

Viacom originally filed its lawsuit last year and filed an amended version last month. In the more recent version, the AP reported, Viacom said video-sharing site YouTube consistently allows popular, copyrighted material to be posted to its site, including from Viacom-owned MTV and Comedy Central. Viacom said that it has identified more than 150,000 unauthorized clips on YouTube and that the site has done "little or nothing" to stop the copyright infringement, the AP reported.

"The availability on the YouTube site of a vast library of the copyrighted works of plaintiffs and others is the cornerstone of defendants' business plan," Viacom said, according to the AP.

Google, in its response, said YouTube "goes far beyond its legal obligations in assisting content owners to protect their works." Google added that YouTube has faithfully followed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and responded to claims of infringement.

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    Natalie Weinstein is a senior editor who works out of Austin, Texas. She spent a decade as a reporter and editor in the newspaper industry before joining the CNET News staff in 2000. E-mail Natalie.


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