What is Google hiding?

Thu, Mar 18, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Thousands of pages of documents were unsealed in U.S. Court in New York Thursday in the $1 billion copyright infringement suit filed against YouTube and Google by media giant Viacom.

    What was released shows a lot about the case;  what was not reveals even more about Google.  Once again its actions smack of hypocrisy.

    The court papers provide insight into a nasty spat between two huge firms. Viacom says YouTube acted like a pirate and knowingly ignored copyright so it could build an audience and quickly sell the Internet startup.  Google, it charges, continued the practices after it bought the company for $1.65 billion.

    Google counters that Viacom actually tried to buy YouTube before Google did and that it secretly posted videos on the site as a marketing effort.  It says there no way it could have known what videos were not authorized to be uploaded and that it removed any that were cited as infringing.

    It will be a long battle, likely going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, before this is resolved.

    Ironically the documents not released speak volumes about Google.  Under court rules, the parties were allowed to continue to hold back items thery deemed confidential pending a conference.  If they cannot agree at the conference, the judge will decide if the documents should be made public.

    As is common in such cases, Google’s top executives CEO Eric Schmidt, Co-Founder Larry Page and Co-Founder Sergey Brin were
    deposed.  So was YouTube’s Chad Hurley. Thursday Google kept Schmidt’s, Page’s and Hurley’s depositions secret under court seal.

    Just what is Google still hiding? Why?

    This is the company that claims it’s committed to openness and transparency. I guess that applies to everybody but Google and its executives.

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    This post was written by:

    John M. Simpson

    - who has written 414 posts on Inside Google.

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