Viacom Friends Back Appeal of YouTube Decision
Viacom is lining up friends in its copyright battle with YouTube. Below is a roundup (with links!) of those who have filed brief in support of Viacom's appeal of its claims in the $1 billion lawsuit that were shot down this summer on summary judgment. It's a wide range of organizations, from Microsoft to the National Football League. We also hear there are other briefs on the way, including from many in the music industry, from labels and publishers to Don Henly, Sting, Bruce Hornsby and Garth Brooks.
Google's reponse brief is due early next year. We're betting the company will certainly have a number of amicus briefs on its side as well. We'll post those too.
- The MPAA and the Independent Film & Television Alliance: "The district court’s summary judgment decision radically upends the fundamental balance that Congress codified in the DMCA’s 'safe harbors'..."
- The DGA, the American Federation of Musicians, and SAG: "On-line theft poses an existential threat to the entertainment industry."
- Microsoft and Electronic Arts: "The evidence in the summary judgment record in this case is extreme. It shows that YouTube’s founders were fixated on increasing the number of YouTube users in short period of time in order to maximize its commercial value; that they knew YouTube had quickly become a magnet for pirated works..."
- CBS Corp: "CBS believes that, if not reversed by this Court, that decision threatens to impose substantial negative consequences for all copyright owners who are subject to mass Internet piracy of their works"
- The International Intellectual Property Institute: "This Court should respect congressional intent and not extend the DMCA’s safe harbor to include content providers. Protecting companies that benefit from infringing content encourages them to enable infringements in order to gain a competitive advantage."
- Business Software Alliance: "In this case, there is a triable issue of fact as to whether YouTube was aware of facts or circumstances that made infringing activity apparent."
- A group of economic professors: "In short, from an economic perspective, the law should deem an actor to have culpable knowledge of specific facts when that actor has taken active steps to avoid knowledge simply as a ploy toward avoiding legal liability."
- A group of media law professors: "In interpreting the legal provisions respecting responsibility for infringement in these circumstances, the court should keep in mind the principle that legal responsibility generally rests on the party best able to prevent, limit, or eliminate harm."
- Advance Publications, Association of American Publishers, Association of American University Presses, The Associated Press, The Center for the Rule of Law, Gannett Co, ICBC Broadcast Holdings, Institute for Policy Innovation, The Ladies Professional Golf Association, The McClatchy Company, The Media Institute, Minority Media & Telecommunications Council, the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, the National Football League, Newspaper Association of America, Picture Archive of America, Professional Photographers of America, Radio Television Digital News Association, Rosetta Stone, The E.W. Scripps Company, Sports Rights Owners Coalition, The Washington Post, Zuffa: "This case relates solely to the ability of copyright holders to ensure that their basic rights—in accordance with the most fundamental principles of copyright law—may be enforced against entities that knowingly and intentionally encourage, and materially contribute to, infringing activities on their services for a commercial benefit. Upholding the District Court’s opinion will turn copyright on its head by vesting sites consciously built on infringement with a broad shield of legal immunity."
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