CNET: YouTube Managers Knew Content Was Unauthorized
October 6, 2009 at 8:05 AM (PT)
CNET NEWS, covering the $1 billion lawsuit filed against YOUTUBE by VIACOM, is reporting that VIACOM lawyers "may have uncovered evidence that employees of the video site were among those who uploaded unauthorized content to YOUTUBE."
The report claims "internal YOUTUBE e-mails indicate that YOUTUBE managers knew and discussed the existence of unauthorized content on the site with employees, but chose not to remove the material," three sources with knowledge of the case told CNET.
Just last week (NET NEWS 9/29), WARNER MUSIC GROUP finally consummated and expanded its agreement with GOOGLE-owned YOUTUBE. The new pact will bring the label group's video product back to the massive video-sharing site.
Will this new evidence hurt YOUTUBE in court? Being able to prove managers knew of copyright infringement and did not quickly remove it, could leave YOUTUBE in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's safe-harbor provision.
"The facts you described could very well be the smoking gun that puts a hole through GOOGLE's case," ROGER GOFF, an entertainment attorney not involved in the case, told CNET News. "(If the facts are accurate), GOOGLE will have a very difficult time claiming that (its staff members) don't undermine its protection."