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Viacom Events

Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property's Sixth Annual Symposium: The Economics of Intellectual Property and Technology — 03/04/2011

Keynote Speaker:
Michael Fricklas, Viacom Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary

Copyright and Free Speech — Pillars of Freedom

In this digital age it has become more and more difficult to protect copyrights, particularly as new technological advances make it easier to steal protected material – that is part of the reason why standing up for this most basic of artistic rights is truly more important than ever. Only by doing so we can protect the intellectual property of artists – and those who invest in it - while fostering creativity and innovation.

Finding the right balance between protecting those rights, while also accommodating fair use, remains a formidable challenge, and it is one that will define the future of technology and intellectual property for years to come. But it is one that must begin from the simple and powerful recognition that copyright is an essential element of our economy, our artistic creativity and our free speech rights.

Materials: Prepared Remarks Event Program

Viacom Statements

Statement of Philippe Dauman, President and CEO of Viacom Supporting Congressional Actions against Online Infringement and Counterfeiting 4/04/2011

As the U.S. economy continues its advance toward recovery, American jobs are increasingly threatened by rogue actors that steal our valuable intellectual property. These economic parasitesare a significant threat to industries across the country and to future investment in American innovation.  Congress is providing true leadership by fighting for the millions of Americans who depend on the important protections against intellectual property theft.

Full Statement

Viacom Files Brief with U.S. Court of Appeals — 12/03/2010

Outcome Critical To the Future of American Copyright Industries

America's economic future will be largely built on innovation, information and the growth of trade in intellectual property. However, an information-based economy cannot exist if the products and ideas developed are not protected under U.S. law.

Full Statement

What's Next? — 10/07/2010

We are confident that we will win our lawsuit 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.

Full Statement

The Court Ruling — 6/23/2010

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.

Full Statement

The Google Smokescreen, Part Two — 5/21/2010

The second round of summary judgment briefs in Viacom's infringement suit against Google has now been filed. Unfortunately, Google's new brief is a collection of ineffective counterarguments that amount to a smokescreen of invented procedural hurdles and absurd attacks.

Full Statement

Google Continues to Distort the Record — 5/21/2010

On May 21, 2010, Google provided the following "selective highlights" of their case. These "selective highlights" are deliberately misleading and distort the actual facts and are easily debunked by the truth. Full Statement

Summary of Amici Briefs in Support of Viacom in Viacom v. YouTube

May 12, 2010 — Nineteen organizations — including guilds and unions, performing rights societies, content companies, trade associations and public policy groups — filed amici briefs in support of Viacom in the Viacom v. YouTube litigation. The briefs were filed in direct response to a legal brief filed in support of Google by a group of amici. The Google amici urged the Court to absolve site operators of infringement liability once a formal notice–and–takedown program pursuant to the DMCA has been set up and to disregard current case law regarding the standards for vicarious liability in favor of establishing new rules that limit the liability of site operators. The Viacom amici stressed the legal, economic and public policy dangers of following such a course.

AFTRA Amici Brief (PDF) ASCAP Amici Brief (PDF) WLF Amicus Brief (PDF)

Viacom Releases Additional Documents

April 15, 2010 — Today, nine additional exhibits filed with our opening brief are being released to the public for the first time after Google dropped its objections. Newly public are excerpts from the deposition of Google CEO Eric Schmidt as well as documents that show Google's own analysis of YouTube's business prior to the acquisition. Taken together, these exhibits make clear one of our core claims in the case: that Google made a deliberate, calculated business decision not only to profit from copyright infringement, but also to use the threat of copyright infringement to try to coerce rights owners like Viacom into licensing their content on Google's terms.
Full Statement

Summary Judgment Statement — 3/18/2010

YouTube was intentionally built on infringement and there are countless internal YouTube communications demonstrating that YouTube's founders and its employees intended to profit from that infringement. By their own admission, the site contained "truckloads" of infringing content and founder Steve Chen explained that YouTube needed to "steal" videos because those videos make "our traffic soar." Full Statement

Viacom Statement on Confidentiality of YouTube Data — 7/7/2008

A recent discovery order by the Federal Court hearing the case of Viacom v. YouTube has triggered concern about what information will be disclosed by Google and YouTube and how it will be used. Viacom has not asked for and will not be obtaining any personally identifiable information of any YouTube user. The personally identifiable information that YouTube collects from its users will be stripped from the data before it is transferred to Viacom. Viacom will use the data exclusively for the purpose of proving our case against You Tube and Google. Full Statement

Viacom Press Release — 3/13/2007

NEW YORK, March 13, 2007 – Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B) today announced that it has sued YouTube and Google in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for massive intentional copyright infringement of Viacom's entertainment properties. The suit seeks more than $1 billion in damages, as well as an injunction prohibiting Google and YouTube from further copyright infringement. The complaint contends that almost 160,000 unauthorized clips of Viacom's programming have been available on YouTube and that these clips had been viewed more than 1.5 billion times. Download Full Statement (PDF)

Viacom Takedown Statement — 2/2/2007

Today, Viacom informed YouTube that over 100,000 additional unauthorized clips of its video content – representing 1.2 billion video streams – must be removed immediately from its site. After months of ongoing discussions with YouTube and Google, it has become clear that YouTube is unwilling to come to a fair market agreement that would make Viacom content available to YouTube users. Filtering tools promised repeatedly by YouTube and Google have not been put in place, and they continue to host and stream vast amounts of unauthorized video. YouTube and Google retain all of the revenue generated from this practice, without extending fair compensation to the people who have expended all of the effort and cost to create it. The recent addition of YouTube-served content to Google Video Search simply compounds this issue. Full Statement