Google rejects Viacom copyright claims in YouTube case

Google has rejected claims that it enables copyright infringement on its YouTube.com website in its first response to entertainment giant Viacom's $1bn (£500m) lawsuit, filed in March.

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Google has rejected claims that it enables copyright infringement on its YouTube.com website, its first response to entertainment giant Viacom's $1bn (£500m) lawsuit, filed in March.

In documents filed in the US courts, Google outlined how it plans to defend itself against Viacom, which is seeking an injunction to prevent further use of its content as well as damages. Google requested a jury trial.

A cornerstone of Google's defence will be the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which has safe harbour provisions that relieve carriers and hosting providers from responsibility for copyright offences as long as they remove the material.

"By seeking to make carriers and hosting providers liable for internet communications, Viacom's complaint threatens the way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange information, news, entertainment, and political and artistic expression," Google said in its response.

Google, which completed its $1.65bn (£825m) acquisition of YouTube in November, said it provides tools for copyright holders to find their material and uses technology to prevent videos from being reposted after they have been removed.

Viacom has contended that those tools are not adequate, and filed a lawsuit in March about a month after demanding that Google remove 100,000 clips from YouTube.

Viacom filed a list of offending clips, including some from "MTV Unplugged", "The Ren and Stimpy Show" and "The Daily Show". The media company's properties include MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures.

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