Viacom said a new wave of digital piracy could threaten the US media business unless federal courts overturn its defeat in a copyright infringement lawsuit against Google's YouTube video sharing site, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
The New York-based owner of MTV, Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures was expected as early as Friday to file its appeal of the June decision with the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals. To add firepower to its case, Viacom brought in former US solicitor general Theodore Olson.
Continue Reading Below
Dating from the dawn of the web video era, the case divided many in the media and technology worlds. It centers in part on how aggressively YouTube -- and by extension video-sharing sites like it -- must police what users upload to its servers in order to avoid being liable for any unauthorized clips.
In June, a federal judge in Manhattan, N.Y., ruled strongly in favor of Google's motion for summary judgment, saying YouTube was protected from copyright claims by "safe harbor" provisions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Viacom, for its part, claimed that YouTube intentionally sought to exploit tens of thousands of Viacom's copyrighted works, such as clips of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," and does not qualify for those protections. "It is extremely destructive if the precedent is set in the wrong way," Olson said in an interview.
A Google spokeswoman said in a statement: "We regret that Viacom continues to drag out this case. The court here, like every other court to have considered the issue, correctly ruled that the law protects online services like YouTube, which remove content when notified by the copyright holder that it is unauthorized. We will strongly defend the court's decision on appeal."