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Viacom gains support in copyright suit

Disney, NBC U, Warner Bros. file amicus briefs

Viacom has gained a host of supporters — including Disney, NBC Universal and Warner Bros. — in its $1 billion copyright infringement suit against YouTube and Google.

The media congloms are part of a coalition of orgs that filed amicus briefs in support of Viacom’s efforts to obtain partial summary judgment against YouTube in a federal court in New York. ASCAP and BMI were also among those who signed on.

Another brief was filed in favor of Viacom by AFTRA, the Directors Guild of America, IATSE and the Screen Actors Guild.

In its suit, filed in 2007, Viacom claims YouTube was well aware that it was hosting infringing content, ranging from clips of “The Daily Show” to MTV reality programming, yet did little to stop it and even built its business model on it. YouTube, however, claims that it was well within the “safe harbor” provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and that Viacom sought to benefit from the promotional platform that its site provided.

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