The long-running legal battle between Viacom (VIA) and Google (GOOG) over copyright infringement at YouTube reached a new level yesterday. From WSJ:
Viacom Inc. and Google Inc. broke their silence Thursday in their legal battle, as Viacom claimed that Google’s YouTube unit had sought to exploit copyrighted works for profit, while Google argued that Viacom itself had secretly uploaded copyrighted clips it later demanded YouTube remove.
The claims are among the many divulged as a federal judge and the parties to the case released a slew of documents. The release is part of a closely watched, three-year court battle between the two media giants over alleged infringements of Viacom’s copyrights by YouTube both before and after it was acquired by Google in 2006.
Viacom essentially argues YouTube knew there was content on its site that wasn’t supposed to be there, but didn’t do a good enough job of removing it in a timely fashion. On the flip side, Google says it’s protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, while adding it does its best to police YouTube.
The published documents surrounding the legal battle are interesting, they don’t reveal much about the case.
“If you’re trying to handicap the way the copyright lawsuit pans out, [the] document dump won’t do much to help you,” MediaMemo blogger Peter Kafka says. “There are revelations here, but they’re of the minor and historical variety…No smoking gun, though. Just a lot of chest-beating and desk-thumping as both sides talk past each other.”