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NBC Universal allowed to argue against YouTube

Media conglomerate has filed brief in support of journalist suing YouTube for copyright infringement, but a U.S. district court judge denied Viacom's request to participate.

A U.S. district judge has denied a request by Viacom to enter a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of journalist Bob Tur, who is suing YouTube for copyright infringement. The judge will, however, allow NBC Universal to file an amicus brief in support of Tur.

Tur is the chopper-piloting journalist who accused YouTube in a lawsuit filed last summer with the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles of allowing users to post clips he shot of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Google, which acquired YouTube last October, has asked the court to dismiss the case.

Viacom and NBC Universal filed a joint request earlier this month asking for permission to file an amicus brief in support of Tur. Sources have told CNET that the media conglomerates fear Tur will lose key legal points that could hamper copyright holders from challenging YouTube in the future.

According to documents filed with the court last week, the judge refused to allow Viacom, the parent company of MTV and VH1, from making any arguments in Tur's case because of the company's $1 billion copyright-infringement suit against YouTube which was filed in March.

A hearing on Google's motion to dismiss Tur's case scheduled for Monday, has been postponed until June 18 to allow Google enough time to answer NBC Universal's brief.