Google and YouTube are being sued by Viacom for copyright infringement. The $1 Billion lawsuit filed by the media giant alleges that Google and YouTube violated breached the law by allowing users to illegally display copyrighted content.
Viacom claim that over 160,000 clips on YouTube contain material that is copyrighted. These clips have accrued more than 1.5 billion views, which can be considered lost revenue for Viacom.
If Viacom can prove beyond doubt that the copyrighted content was placed online and viewed by YouTube visitors, the courts would still need to decide whether YouTube and Google can be held accountable for copyright infringements by their users. A judgement against Google could have a far reaching impact on many other sites and blogs that rely on user generated content, as more webmasters will have to police what users post on their blogs and forums.