Viacom "threatens" freedom of expression, says Google

Google's lawyers suggest that Viacom's strategy in its $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube is to subvert the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's protection of websites and Internet service providers and "threatens the way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange information, news, entertainment and political and artistic expression." The argument is set forth in a response to Viacom's amended complaint filed in April, which cited 150,000 examples of infringing content, which together had been viewed 1.5 billion times.

Google's response said that the company goes above and beyond to help rightsholders police the site, to answer Viacom's allegation that the company does "little or nothing." "To the contrary, the availability on the YouTube site of a vast library of the copyrighted works of plaintiffs and others is the cornerstone of defendants' business plan," argued the Viacom counsel. Google's response also demands a trial by jury, moving further away from any possibility for a settlement.