Does YouTube qualify for protection under the DMCA?

Google and ViacomWhen Google bought YouTube in October of 2006, rumors of potential copyright lawsuits started to spread like wildfire. Four months later, those rumors became a reality — Viacom is suing Google for copyright infringement. However, Google denies the allegation. A recent article from CNET Networks' offers highlights from this legal battle: "Google denies Viacom copyright charges."

Here's the lowdown:

What's new:
Viacom sued Google in March for $1 billion, alleging that the search giant's video-sharing site YouTube was infringing on copyrights.

Bottom line:
In a response to that lawsuit, Google says it is protected by the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and says Viacom suit threatens video-sharing sites.

For alternative slants on this story, check out these articles from other news sources:

Under the DMCA, service providers that host other people's content are safe from liability if they quickly remove material a content owner alleges infringes on their copyright. Viacom argues that YouTube doesn't qualify for protection under the DMCA, because Google has prior knowledge of infringing material and is profiting from pirated works. Which side of the legal battle do you favor? 


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Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.

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