Google challenges copyright lawsuit from Viacom

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Google Inc. filed a response Monday to Viacom Inc.'s copyright infringement lawsuit against Google's video Web site YouTube, claiming YouTube's activities are legal.

Viacom filed the complaint for alleged copyright infringement March 13 and is seeking more than $1 billion in damages. The complaint says about 160,000 unauthorized clips of programming owned by Viacom - which includes MTV, VH1, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon - have been available on the popular video-sharing Web site.

In a response filed in federal court in New York on Monday, Google said YouTube respects the importance of copyrights and goes above and beyond what is required under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

The act gives Web hosts protection from copyright lawsuits as long as the hosts agree to remove the unauthorized material.

YouTube says it cooperates with holders of copyrights and immediately complies with requests to have unauthorized material removed from the site.

In February, Viacom, New York, demanded that YouTube remove more than 100,000 unauthorized video clips from its site after several months of talks between the companies broke down.

Viacom filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. It is seeking an injunction prohibiting Google and YouTube from using its clips.

To combat copyright infringement, YouTube has created the "Claim Your Content" program. This feature places a content identification and reporting system for user-uploaded videos, giving content partners the ability to remove content or share in the advertising revenue generated, if any.

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