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Web firm responds to Viacom’s $1 billion lawsuit.

Google dismisses video-sharing lawsuit

Internet giant Google has stated that its video-sharing service YouTube does not infringe on media rights, as was alleged in yesterday’s $1 billion lawsuit aimed at the firm by media behemoth Viacom.

"We think YouTube offers the world’s leading platform for entertainment, education and free speech," Michael Kwun, managing counsel for litigation at Google, said in a briefing with reporters. "We’re not going to let this lawsuit distract us.

"By seeking to make carriers and hosting providers liable for internet communications, Viacom’s complaint threatens the way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange information, news, entertainment and political and artistic expression."

ZDNet reports that YouTube, which Google acquired last year for $1.65bn in stock, is protected from charges of copyright violation under the Hosting Safe Harbor of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the US. Under the provision, 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 denied on Monday that YouTube qualifies for protection under the DMCA, arguing that the company has prior knowledge of infringing material and is also profiting from unlicensed works.

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