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Viacom general counsel Michael Fricklas has responded to today’s summary judgment ruling in favor of Google in the $1 billion copyright battle over YouTube. Full statement here:
“We are disappointed with the judge’s ruling, but confident we will win on appeal.
Copyright protection is essential to the survival of creative industries. It is, and should be, illegal for companies to build their businesses with creative material they have stolen from others. Without this protection, investment in the development of art and entertainment would be discouraged, and the many artists and producers who devote their lives to creating it would be hurt. Copyright protection is also critical to the web — because consumers love professional content and because legitimate websites shouldn’t have to compete with pirates.
YouTube and Google demonstrated that required tools to limit piracy aren’t impossible to find or even that difficult to implement — they fixed the problem of rampant piracy on YouTube after Viacom filed this lawsuit.
Before that, however, YouTube and Google stole hundreds of thousands of video clips from artists and content creators, including Viacom, building a substantial business that was sold for billions of dollars. We believe that should not be allowed by law or common sense.
This case has always been about whether intentional theft of copyrighted works is permitted under existing law and we always knew that the critical underlying issue would need to be addressed by courts at the appellate levels. Today’s decision accelerates our opportunity to do so.
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