While Yahoo! might seem like a strange “friend” for Google to have, that’s just what a major court case has brought about. CNET reports that companies like Yahoo!, Facebook and eBay have filed “friend of the court” briefs to support Google and YouTube in their defense against a $1 billion copyright infringement case brought by Viacom in March 2007.
The filings in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York urge Judge Louis Stanton to dismiss the suit, which revolves around copyright-protected content by Viacom entities such as MTV, Paramount Pictures and Comedy Central being uploaded on YouTube. Viacom claims that Google – YouTube’s parent company – “encouraged” users to upload pirated digital media files and benefited financially from illegal sharing.
The consortium of companies defending Google and YouTube told Judge Stanton that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act protects Internet service providers from liability for copyright violations committed by users and that a ruling against Google would have a chilling impact on future digital innovation.