As the fight between Viacom and Google heats up, the search giant has filed a new round of court papers alleging that Viacom's copyright infringement lawsuit could threaten "the way hundreds of millions of people legitimately exchange information, news, entertainment and political and artistic expression." Viacom, you may recall, filed a $1 billion suit, alleging that Google did very little to prevent YouTubers from posting copyright-protected material such as Daily Show clips onto the web site. Google's lawyers claimed that under the terms of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, it's incumbent upon the aggrieved party to complain to Google, at which point the company would be happy to pull the offending video. But asking the search company to troll its own site, be aware of every copyrighted video, and proactively yank anything that might be Viacom property was asking too much.
Previous, Viacom claimed to have found 150,000 bootleg Viacom videos on YouTube, and that viewers had watched these shows 1.5 billion times. Greg Sterling over at searchengineland.com argues that this amounted to free advertising for Viacom, and that the company probably didn't suffer financially. That's a little dubious, but as Sterling notes, it doesn't really matter, since Google would be liable under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act even if the damages amounted to nada.