Viacom Says YouTube Employees Uploaded Copyrighted Content

Sources tell CNET Viacom may finally have a smoking gun in its copyright infringmenet suit against Google (GOOG) and YouTube.

CNET: Lawyers may have uncovered evidence that employees of the video site were among those who uploaded unauthorised content to YouTube.

In addition, internal YouTube e-mails indicate that YouTube managers knew and discussed the existence of unauthorised content on the site with employees but chose not to remove the material, three sources with knowledge of the case told CNET.

If Viacom’s evidence is good, its obviously a major blow to Google’s defence, which has always claimed that the reason YouTube can’t police copyrighted content is that it is impossible to tell what is copyrighted, what isn’t, and what is, but is also content copyright owners want on YouTube.

That defence depends on the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. But if YouTube employees actually uploaded content they knew to be copyrighted, it’s probably no good. CNET does a good job explaining that law:

The provision, established in 1998, was designed to give online services a measure of protection from liability for infringing materials uploaded to their sites–as long as they meet a certain criteria, including:

  • (A)(i) The services don’t have actual knowledge that the material, or an activity using the material on the system or network, is infringing.
  • (ii) in the absence of such actual knowledge, is not aware of facts or circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent; or
  • (iii) upon obtaining such knowledge or awareness, acts expeditiously to remove, or disable access to, the material.

 Continue reading at CNET >

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