Viacom once again aimed its legal fire at Google on Thursday, arguing that the release of a trove of documents adds evidence that the Internet giant sought to profit from copyright infringement in its 2006 purchase of YouTube.
The documents, which include parts of a deposition from Google CEO Eric Schmidt, are the latest exhibits to be made public in Viacom’s contentious and bitter lawsuit against YouTube, which it sued in 2007, seeking some $1 billion in damages for the unauthorized posting of content ranging from clips of “The Daily Show” to MTV reality programs. U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton has ordered the release of sealed documents as the case has dragged on.
Among the latest is a May 2006 internal Google report in which the options for acquiring content companies are weighed. In one passage, the report’s author noted that YouTube’s “business model is completely sustained by pirated content.”
Stanley Pierre-Louis, Viacom vice president and associate general counsel, said in a statement the passage shows that, even though Google was aware of YouTube’s business strategy, it went ahead and bought the company in 2006.
A YouTube spokeswoman said , “It’s revealing that Viacom is trying to litigate this case in the press. These documents aren’t new. They are taken out of context .”