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Viacom files $1B copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube, Google

[JURIST] Media giant Viacom [corporate website] filed a lawsuit Tuesday for copyright infringement against the website YouTube and owner Google [corporate websites], seeking over $1 billion in damages and an injunction that would prohibit further infringement. Viacom, which owns Comedy Central, MTV, VH1 and other media outlets, alleges in its complaint [text] that over 160,000 unauthorized video clips have been posted on YouTube. According to a Viacom press release [text]:

YouTube's strategy has been to avoid taking proactive steps to curtail the infringement on its site, thus generating significant traffic and revenues for itself while shifting the entire burden – and high cost – of monitoring YouTube onto the victims of its infringement. This behavior stands in stark contrast to the actions of other significant distributors, who have recognized the fair value of entertainment content and have concluded agreements to make content legally available to their customers around the world.
YouTube has been sued for copyright infringement [JURIST report] before and Google currently faces other litigation over its search services.

Last month, a Belgian court ruled [JURIST report] that Google had violated copyright law by linking to Belgian newspapers without receiving permission to do so, and ordered it to pay $32,500 per day until the content was removed. Google has also been sued by Copiepresse [corporate website, in French], which represents 17 German and French language newspapers, for copyright infringement. The media outlets are pushing to have Internet engines like Google pay for links to the European news and many of the newspapers are in negotiations with Google to reach such agreements. Two of the five Copiepresse groups that sued have already settled with Google. AP has more.

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