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Google hits back at Viacom's YouTube claims

Google in court over YouTube 'infringement'

Google yesterday rejected a claim that it enables copyright infringement on YouTube.com. This was Google's first response to entertainment behemoth Viacom's $1bn lawsuit, which was filed in March.

More: YouTube & Google hit with $1bn lawsuit

Alongside damages Viacom wants an injunction to prevent further use of its content. In documents filed yesterday in a New York US District Court, Google outlined its defence against Viacom's claims. Google requested a jury trial.

"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's defence will invoke the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). The act includes safe harbor provisions that take away responsibility for copyright offences from carriers and hosting providers, as long as they remove the material when requested to do so.

Google, which completed its $1.65bn acquisition of YouTube in November 2006, 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 aren't adequate, and filed suit 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, Nick at Nite, Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures.

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