Advanced Television

Entertainment coalition lends weight to Viacom vs. YouTube

December 14, 2010

An entertainment industry coalition representing the major studios and the independent motion picture and television programming industry has filed an amicus (interested party) brief in the case of Viacom versus YouTube. The brief filed by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) urges the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to overturn a lower court ruling that dismissed Viacom’s lawsuit against YouTube.

“The decision of the lower court, if not overturned, will allow businesses to profit by inviting massive amounts of online copyright theft and avoid liability simply by turning a blind eye to the direct, illegal effects of their business models,” said Daniel Mandil, General Counsel and Chief Content Protection Officer of the MPAA. “We are confident that the Court of Appeals will recognise that the lower court’s decision was entirely inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Grokster and with the plain language of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The MPAA is committed to protecting the jobs of the 2.4 million Americans in all 50 states who depend on the entertainment industry for their livelihoods. We do so in Congress, in the State Houses, in cooperation with law enforcement agencies and, as we are doing today, in the courts.”

“Co-operation between service providers and rights holders in the fight against online infringement is critical to the development of meaningful, legitimate business models in the digital arena,” said IFTA President-CEO Jean Prewitt. “If allowed to stand, the lower court decision will curtail drastically the service providers’ responsibilities and incentives to participate meaningfully in the effort to build the legal marketplace and this is of serious concern to IFTA, its members and the entire independent film and television community. We join others in the industry in urging the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse the lower court’s decision.”

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