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BizReport : Law & Regulation : November 13, 2006

Google Faces Copyright Infringement

As online video content becomes more and more popular, issues surrounding copyright are thrust into the limelight.

by Helen Leggatt

Google is facing at least one copyright infringement. The targeted service is Google Video and the way in which Google handles this case will foreshadow any potential disputes that may arise out of their recent purchase of YouTube for $1.65bn.

The lawsuit, which was filed in France, is seeking $193,000 and relates to a 2004 documentary about the Landmark Group which contains hidden camera footage and discussions about whether the group was a “cult”.

As soon as Google were aware of the breach of copyright they removed the video. "This is a small lawsuit over a single video that appeared briefly," Google spokesman Ricardo Reyes said in a statement.

"We have procedures in place that allow copyright owners to tell us if their content is placed on Google Video without authorization," he said. "When we receive appropriate notice, we quickly remove the content from Google Video."

The laws surrounding online copyright are ambiguous as to whether websites are liable if companies sue without first giving notice to the sites of the copyright breach, or if removal of the item from the website after notification is sufficient.

Tags: copyright, Google Video, YouTube

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