back to article YouTube accuses Viacom of secretly uploading videos

Google has accused Viacom of secretly uploading videos to YouTube in an effort to support its copyright infringement claims against Mountain View. In March 2007 the US media giant filed a $1bn lawsuit against Google, alleging the video-sharing site was responsible for Viacom-owned clips posted to YouTube. Now, in the latest …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    So in other words Google content recog does not work

    If google glorious content recognition system worked it would have mattered little who uploaded what. It would have joined the penalty bin regardless.

    However, based on the complaints Google quite clearly has failed to produce a working content identification system.

  2. Semihere

    Bullsh*t Legal Arguments

    "YouTube intentionally operated as a haven for massive copyright infringement"

    If that's seriously going to be considered as a viable legal argument, then it's just as valid to argue that Viacom intentionally operated to make available content which could be infringed!

    1. Ian Michael Gumby


      Sorry, but your argument doesn't hold water.

      Viacom made content to be viewed by audiences.

      When an audience member decides to copy the content and then post it on YouTube, then they violated the copyright law. You can't hold the company or person who created the content responsible for the infraction.

      Google however could be found profiting off the copyright infringement because they sold ads and while the infringing copy was up on the site until it was taken down.

      There's a lot more to the argument against Google/YouTube but lets not spoil the fun. ;-)

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Not surprising...

    But a hellish serious charge of perverting justice, if proven to be true then ppl are going to go to jail for this!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Not surprising?

      "if proven to be true then ppl are going to go to jail for this!"

      No, the people involved are far too rich for that to be an option.

  4. Britt Johnston

    faint praise...

    "the court documents........ supported the company's allegations against YouTube."

    That's a starting point in the case against YouTube, but doesn't sound as if the spokesperson was really convinced.

  5. John Lilburne

    Well done viacom

    looks like they have Google by the Goolies.

    1. Oninoshiko


      Actually, if Viacom (or their agents) put up Viscom owned material, The vary act of putting it up is giving google concent to show it (they had to agree to the TOS for you tube). If this is true now Viacom is screwwed.

      As a copyright holder, I can't grant you permission to copy my work, then sue you for it. (well, i can but it tends to lead to laughing judges, and me paying both bills)

  6. J 3

    Now, in the latest soap opera-like twist

    Yeah, but is the soap opera running on YouTube, and is that copyright infringement too?

  7. jake Silver badge

    Methinks ...

    Probably the best way to get rid of YouTube is to sue google for maintaining an attractive nuisance. I have always thought this would happen, eventually.

    Viacom, on the other hand, needs to be pointed out and giggled at ... "Yer Onner, we uploaded our stuffs to youtube, and so they were available on youtube! Obviously, youtube is to blame for our actions, and we wants to sue them!!!!1!"

    1. El Richard Thomas

      Slight logical error...

      ...if she's attractive, by definition she can not be a nuisance ;-)

    2. Rattus Rattus

      "maintaining an attractive nuisance"

      Is that a real charge? Does this mean my friend can get in the shit for his cute but demanding wife? Enquiring minds want to know.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Since Orlowski's article doesn't have comment enabled

    I'll post on this one....

    YouTubes actions do seem to be infiringing, even thoughthey didnt upload the stuff themselves, they hadn;t done enough to stop it happening (actively encouraged? How did they do that?). Viacoms actions are, in law, probably worse - they are deliberately trying to make it look like someone else is breaking the law. The same principle as murdering someone and trying to make it look like someone else did it ("Oive been set up guvnor..")

    As to AO article. Google did know that YouTube had been naughty before they bought them, BUT, did they stop them being naughty after they were bought - which is the relevant point. If Google stopped the naughtiness, then they haven't infringed their Do No Evil mantra (if anything they have reduced the level of evil in the world - if you class a few ripped off clips on youtube as evil - well, perhaps some of the coments). If they didn't do anything, then Tua Culpa. But we need the proof....

  9. Anonymous Coward

    No, the people involved are far too rich for that to be an option.

    Hammer, meet nail-head.

  10. criscros

    YouTube's counter-argument is...

    ...that Viacom HIRED people to upload infringing content so they could come back later and accuse YouTube of being evil.

    I want YouTube to win this. Viacom are a bunch of tossers.

  11. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    There's copyrighted stuff on YouTube?

    Say it ain't so.

    The real question is, does it matter and has anyone lost a single moth-eaten greenback as a result? Very doubtful indeed. I would hazard a guess and say that "posted stolen content" has kept the real-life cash tiller going. The only one losing money is YouTube.

    1. xconan

      Youtube videos are low quality

      considering most of the content on Youtube is educational is great for the public. however most videos uploaded are vhs quality and not that watchable anyway. if watchers liked the video they would want to go out to buy the video or movie outright. then again the movie is not always available in certain parts of the world.

      also got to thank youtube for the previews as some of the videos and movies shown are not worth the user's time and money, and hence the question why is the company making them still in business??

  12. Anonymous Coward

    This lands Viacom in the shitter if true

    So, perverting the course of justice... courts tend to look down on that sort of thing. If Google's accusations have merit, Viacom and its hired help have actively and deliberately fabricated evidence they've used in their case.

    1. Dave Bell

      And Google wouldn't want to be caught telling lies...

      If it's false, Google are in trouble. At the least, they'd be stupid to make this claim if there wasn't some evidence to support it. It's possible that Viacom outsourced their PR, and didn't authorise the posting to YouTube. But would a PR firm in that business be so reckless?

      That's one of the reasons for having a trial. Both sides make claims, and present evidence, and challenge the other side's evidence.

      Viral marketing, of course. A PR firm faking a grass-roots enthusiasm. It's sometimes called "astro-turfing", and is common in politics. It's the product of professional blog-comment spamming. Google's claim is very plausible. Get this into the courts and the implications could be interesting. An "anonymous coward" label here might still be OK, but I post some stuff under a nickname--what might come out of a case this big, involving material posted under false names?

  13. kain preacher

    If true

    If true Via com and its agents could face jail time, at least criminal charges . Purgery and evidence tampering .

  14. peter 45


    This gives Google, at the very least, an Unclean Hands defence.

    If Viacom is sensible, the lawsuit quietly magically disappears before it even gets that far and gets declared as a huge misunderstanding.

    If Viacom is not sensible, I predict a summary judgement for dismissal followed by an criminal investigation of attempted fraud? perverting the course of justice? (lawyers please choose). This could be interesting.

  15. Tom 13

    Oh this could get really good.

    While not discounting YouTube's potential as an attractive nuisance for other copyright holders, in the specific case of Viacom this could get really amusing. Since Viacom IS the copyright holder, and since the companies were hired as AGENTS of Viacom, it can be argued because of the TOS, whatever video's Viacom's AGENTS uploaded to YouTube are now legal governed by the YouTube TOS. That is, that YouTube now and forever posses the right to post for download whatever was uploaded by those Agents.

    Could YouTube/Google eventually end up owning Viacom as a result?

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