Viacom-YouTube Case: Google Doesn't Have To Reveal Innermost Secrets

Robert Andrews
Thursday, July 3, 2008; 6:07 AM

Viacom's ( NYSE: VIA) $1 billion YouTube copyright suit may have gone quiet in recent months, but it picked up again last night when Google ( NSDQ: GOOG) was handed two partial victories?

-- Manhattan district judge Louis L. Stanton granted Google a protective order meaning it doesn't have to hand over its key search source code, which Viacom had wanted to use to illustrate a lack of copyright filters but which Google successfully argued was a trade secret, DJ reports.

-- He also turned down Viacom's request for the algorithm to YouTube's Video Identification, which encourages content owners to supply information to help track infringements.

Stanton said Viacom showed no evidence that the search algorithm "can discriminate between infringing and non-infringing video": "YouTube and Google should not be made to place this vital asset in hazard merely to allay speculation." Not going so well for Viacom, then. In the background - the UK's Premier League and music publisher Bourne Co., which have also sued are are seeking class-action status.


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