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Google will take Viacom suit to Supreme Court

Viacom's Redstone says he's standing up for the principle of copyright protection, but Google is willing to go all the way to the mat in its legal fight.

Stephen Shankland Former Principal Writer
Stephen Shankland worked at CNET from 1998 to 2024 and wrote about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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Google is willing to fight Viacom all the way to the Supreme Court in the companies' legal battle over YouTube and pirated videos, but Viacom is taking a hard line of its own, executives from the companies said Wednesday.

David Eun, Google's vice president of content partnerships, told Dow Jones Newswires that Google has no plan to resolve the Viacom case outside court. "We're going all the way to the Supreme Court," Eun said. "We're very clear about it."

Separately, Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone told Dow Jones he's standing up for broader principles.

"When we filed our lawsuit, we not only served our own interests, we served the interests of everyone who owns copyrights that they want protected," said Redstone. "We cannot tolerate any form of piracy by anyone, including YouTube...they cannot get away with stealing our products."

Viacom sued Google for "massive intentional copyright infringement" in 2007, seeking more than $1 billion in damages.

At stake in the fight is a key part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the 1998 law that shields Web site owners from copyright infringement involving material published by users. The "safe harbor" provision in the law can protect against infringement claims as long as copyrighted material is removed upon notification.

After the suit, YouTube launched an antipiracy tool that checks uploaded videos against the original content in an effort to flag piracy.