Google Snarks Back Against Viacom

YouTube ViacomGoogle filed a response to Viacom’s allegations of complicity in widespread copyright violations on YouTube today in New York’s federal district court. The suit, brought by Viacom, is seeking $1 billion in damages.

Google has asked for a jury trial, and the San Jose Mercury News reports that Google’s managing counsel for litigation Michael Kwun denied that the two companies were in settlement talks.

“Viacom’s complaint in this action challenges the careful balance established by Congress when it enacted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ….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.”

Viacom, of course responds via the Los Angeles Times, “It is simply not credible that a company whose mission is to organize the world’s information claims that it can’t find what’s on YouTube.”

The suit was brought even after YouTube complied with a massive DMCA takedown request by Viacom to remove infringing content.

Further reading: Rob Hof from Business Week has a good recap of the situation with comments from Google’s lawyers.