YouTube’s defenses to Viacom copyright lawsuit

March 14, 2007

YouTube should have two main defenses to Viacom’s copyright lawsuit, although the first is the one more often talked about: (1) the DMCA safe harbor for hosting content and providing locator tools, Section 512(c), (d), and (2) the Netcom/CoStar defense for automated online systems.

In an article in The Reporter, Esq., EFF’s Fred von Lohmann provided a pretty fair and thorough analysis of the defenses even before Google bought YouTube — identifying even the possible ambiguities in the safe harbor provision and likely areas of contention. I do agree with von Lohmann’s basic analysis, and recommend his article for those who want to familiarize themselves with the basic legal arguments. As the case progresses, I hope to write in greater depth about YouTube’s defenses.