Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Is the YouTube Case Finally Ready to Start Moving Again?

Nearly three years after Viacom sued Google over copyright infringement, the case may finally be ready to start moving again. Both sides have asked a federal court for summary judgment, which means there’s an opportunity for the legal system to actually make a decision in what could be a landmark case.

Both sides filed the requests, as has been expected for some time, at the end of last month and is a sign that years of laborious discovery and depositions have come to a close.

There’s not much to the filings themselves:

  • Google’s (GOOG) document reiterates the company’s initial argument. The search giant says it doesn’t knowingly store or play copyrighted clips on the site, and if it does, it is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Google also cites last fall’s ruling in the Veoh/Universal Music Group case, in which a court ruled in favor of the video-sharing site.
  • Viacom’s (VIA) document reiterates its initial argument, which is that Google and YouTube knew what they were doing and profited from it, which means the DMCA does not protect them. And perhaps it says something more interesting. Hard to tell, since U.S. District Court judge Louis Stanton has redacted more than a page of the document, as you can see here:

Viacom redacted
Wonder what that says? Me too.

Viacom filing:
Via 1710
Google filing:

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik