Ever since Viacom first filed a lawsuit accusing Google's YouTube of violating copyright law, most of Hollywood has appeared determined to stay neutral. That seems to be changing.
Over the past several days, NBC Universal, Warner Bros., Disney, the Screen Actors Guild and Directors Guild of America have all filed friend-of-the-court briefs asking the judge in the three-year-old case to rule in favor of Viacom. The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), one of the music industry's largest performing rights groups also filed documents in support of Viacom.
"We are pleased that such a broad group of guilds and unions, content owners, rights organizations and public policy groups have made their support clear for Viacom's position in our case against YouTube," a Viacom spokesman said in a statement. "These important groups plainly recognize that YouTube's disregard for copyright benefits only Google."
Viacom accused Google and YouTube in March 2007 of encouraging copyright infringement and now much of the film industry is telling the judge that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's safe harbor provisions don't protect YouTube, acquired by Google in 2006, from responsibility for the infringement on the site.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Library Association filed their own amicus documents on behalf of Google, which on Tuesday defended its legal position.
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