Viacom Hires High-Profile Lawyer to Battle YouTube on Copyright

Viacom’s battle with YouTube is heating up again. In June, the company promised to appeal after it lost its battle with Google-owned YouTube when a judge decided that the video-sharing was protected by the safe harbor of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) against claims of copyright infringement.

Yesterday, the Hollywood Reporter revealed that Viacom has hired appellate lawyer and former United States Solicitor General Theodore Olson, who successfully represented then-candidate George W. Bush in the U.S. Supreme Court Bush vs. Gore case, and also helped overturn California’s ban on gay marriage in Perry v. Schwarzenegger.

Olson will prepare the company’s appeal, which it plans to file on Dec. 3.

Viacom’s fight against Google over copyright infringement began in 2007, when the company sued for $1 billion and demanded an immediate stop to the copyright infringement.

YouTube fought back, saying that, “for years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately ‘roughed up’ the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko’s to upload clips from computers that couldn’t be traced to Viacom.”

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