Google Forced To Give Viacom Video Logs, But Can Keep Search Source Code

Mountain View (CA) - Viacom won a significant victory in their $1 billion copyright infringement case against Google/YouTube. Google has been ordered to hand over terabytes of video search information that shows the details of every video ever played on YouTube. However Google did dodge a huge bullet as Judge Louis Stanton denied Viacom’s request for source code to Google’s search engine.

Viacom says it wanted the video logs to prove whether copyright-protected videos were more heavily watched than amateur clips. Viacom attorneys offered to provide Google hard drives to store the 12 terabytes of data. While the logs will be sanitized to protect real names and email addresses, they will still include the time a video is played, the login id and the IP address.

Google’s attorneys tried to block the request on privacy grounds, but Stanton argued that IP addresses aren’t accurate enough to provide the true identity of the video viewer. Google has also been ordered to provide copies off all videos that have ever been removed from YouTube.

Viacom contends Google’s YouTube infringes on its works on a massive scale and that the online video site isn’t just providing storage space for the videos. The company contends that YouTube commits "duplication, distribution and public display" when a video is watched. Furthermore, Viacom attorneys insist that the video is copied to the computer (in cache) after it is played, something which perpetuates the piracy.

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But while Google was forced to give up video logs, the judge denied Viacom’s request for Google’s and YouTube’s search engine source code. Google claimed the code represented 1000 man years of development time and said divulging the code would be risking the loss of Google’s core business. Viacom countered by saying it wanted to prove that Google manipulated the code to treat copyrighted material differently, but Judge Stanton didn’t buy that argument.

Viacom also wanted Google’s advertising schema database which contains all the advertising companies and amounts charged for ads within YouTube. This request was also denied by Judge Stanton because he didn’t think it was relevant to the case.

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  • waxdart
    IP addresses aren’t accurate enough to provide the true identity of the video viewer!
    What does the Websheriff have to say about that? After all they use IP address to go after people who use P2P!!