YouTube rights fight ‘threatens net’

A $1 billion dollar lawsuit against YouTube threatens Internet freedom, according to its owner Google. Viacom is suing the video sharing service for its inability to keep copyrighted material off its' site, it says it has identified 150,000 unauthorised clips on YouTube.

In court documents Google’s lawyers say the action “threatens the way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange information” over the web. The search giant’s legal team also maintained that YouTube had been faithful to the requirements of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act and that they responded properly to claims of infringement.

Viacom disagreed that either firm had lived up to that standard and said that they had done “little or nothing” to stop infringement.

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