Thu Apr 15, 2010 @ 03:23PM PST
By Eriq Gardner
Viacom has released more documents in its $1 billion case against YouTube, hoping to show that the Google site participated in a scheme to violate copyright on some of its most valuable content.
Both sides previously released motions that summed up key arguments, but Viacom took a publicity hit over allegations that its execs were using the video-sharing site to promote Viacom content at the same time they were publicly ripping YouTube.
Viacom today hit back hard in a statement
that showcases nine exhibits, now unsealed, which it says shows Google "made a deliberate, calculated business decision not only to profit from copyright infringement, but also to use the threat of copyright infringement to try to coerce rights owners like Viacom into licensing their content on Google's terms."
Of particular interest is a deposition by Google CEO Eric Schmidt in which he's pressed about whether he and other Google executives discussed loosening copyright restrictions to compete with a pre-acquisition YouTube. Schmidt also is questioned about Google's talks with content owners like Viacom over sharing revenue from videos shown on YouTube — the implication being that of coercion.
Viacom also points out that Google employees were warning against acquiring a company like YouTube "sustained by pirated content."