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Google Spent $100M Defending Viacom Lawsuit 153

Posted by Soulskill
from the expensive-justice dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Lawsuits are never cheap, even if you're on the winning side. But not many cost as much as Viacom's lawsuit against Google. The search giant won before trial, and even so Google spent $100 million defending themselves. Incidentally, Viacom is appealing the ruling, so it's not even over yet. Perhaps it's no wonder our rights are vanishing online when it takes $100M to protect just one of them."
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Google Spent $100M Defending Viacom Lawsuit

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  • A possible fix: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, 2010 @01:58PM (#32953486)

    On all matters regarding intellectual properties, only public defenders may represent both parties.

    And move to a non-profit court system. Some jurisdictions figured out they could attract dollars by being attractive venues for lawsuits.

    • Re:A possible fix: (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Theaetetus (590071) <theaetetus.slashdot@nospam.gmail.com> on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:05PM (#32953542) Homepage Journal

      And move to a non-profit court system. Some jurisdictions figured out they could attract dollars by being attractive venues for lawsuits.

      That has nothing to do with the court system - it actually loses money on each case, whether patent, criminal, or civil. However, the city of Marshall, Texas makes a lot of money on patent suits, with lots of expensive hotels and restaurants for out of towners. Are you going to suggest banning capitalism in towns with courthouses? Obviously not.
      Forum shopping is bad for many reasons, but not the one you suggest.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by h4rr4r (612664)

        A simple solution would be to not require people to travel for these sort of court matters. Everything can be done by a teleconference between the parties, each at a courthouse local to them.

        • A simple solution would be to not require people to travel for these sort of court matters. Everything can be done by a teleconference between the parties, each at a courthouse local to them.

          And is the jury at a third courthouse? Or does one side get to look them in the eye while the other side is over video?

          • by tattood (855883)

            And is the jury at a third courthouse?

            Do they have a jury for the pre-trial? If these are settled before they go to trial, then there should be no jury involved.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Theaetetus (590071)

              And is the jury at a third courthouse?

              Do they have a jury for the pre-trial? If these are settled before they go to trial, then there should be no jury involved.

              So, the suggestion is that they should do pre-trial matters via teleconference? They already do. Not unusual.

              Plus, really, do you think the majority, or even a significant amount, of the $100 million cost was the airfare and hotels? Really?

          • by sjames (1099)

            They may be at any convenient courthouse, even one where another party is located, but will still view the trial only via video conference to avoid the unfair advantage you cite.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The cost is primarily the hourly rate for lawyers, not travel expenses. This case barely even saw the inside of a courtroom. Teleconference maybe could have saved a few thousand, maybe even a few hundred thousand, but not any significant percentage.

        • Re:A possible fix: (Score:4, Insightful)

          by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:33PM (#32953872) Homepage

          Better solution: make better laws, appoint better judges.

          I kind of hate when you get a problem that stems from people doing stupid things and everyone runs around trying to figure out how to rejigger the system to make stupid things impossible. There is no systematic way to stop stupid greedy corrupt people from wreaking havoc. You can come up with systems that will diminish the amount of damage any one stupid greedy corrupt person can do, but that's about it. If you let stupid greedy corrupt people stay in charge, they'll still wreak havoc.

          • Re:A possible fix: (Score:5, Interesting)

            by iamhassi (659463) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:54PM (#32954196) Journal
            "Better solution: make better laws, appoint better judges."

            It's not the laws, this was a lawsuit that didn't even enter a courtroom. I can sue anyone for anything: if I knew your name and address I could sue you right now for... oh, let's say slander and you'd have to shell out $$$ or be found guilty. Oh sure you could counter sue saying the lawsuit has no basis and might get your money back, but you'd still have to shell out the $$$ first just to go to court.

            Legal system is no better: without any proof or evidence at all I could accuse anyone of assault and the police will go arrest them and put them in jail and maybe the next day they could talk to a judge and get out of jail after paying thousands in bail. That's what this women did. [ocregister.com] She sent fake harassing text messages to herself and her ex-boyfriend was arrested three times before the police finally investigated to see that all the text messages were sent close to where the woman worked. Each time he was arrested he had to pay thousands in bail money and now has a police record for harassment that he has to try and clear up.

            The US legal system is horrible.
            • So it's not the laws and judges, but it's the "legal system"? Can you spell out that distinction better?

            • The US legal system is horrible.

              The problems you mentioned are not specific to the United States of America. But considering that I've heard of rescuers sued by people who's lives they saved for injuring their arm pulling them out of burning cars, you do have a point.

              • Well, volunteer rescuers are protected by good samaritan laws - nearly every state has them. Professional rescuers (paid fire or EMS) are a little more liable, but unless they ripped the arm off or injured someone when it was clearly unnecessary, it'll still be thrown out.

                I do volunteer EMS and I've been named in suits a half dozen times so far. The only time I hear about it is the note saying I was named and it was dismissed - the ambulance chasers sue everybody all the way down.

                • by iamhassi (659463)
                  "Well, volunteer rescuers are protected by good samaritan laws - nearly every state has them."

                  If only you were right [go.com] "The court ruled 4-3 that only those administering medical care have legal immunity, but not those like Torti, who merely take rescue action. The justices said that the perceived danger to Van Horn in the wrecked car was not "medical." The court majority said the 1980 Emergency Medical Service Act, which Torti's lawyers cited for protection, was intended only to encourage people to learn
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by berzerke (319205)

              ...She sent fake harassing text messages to herself and her ex-boyfriend was arrested three times before the police finally investigated to see that all the text messages were sent close to where the woman worked...

              Actually, if you RTFA carefully, you'll see it was the victims that did the investigating first, and then took their findings to the police, who then ran with it.

              • who then ran with it

                Actually, after they took the findings to the police, the police arrested one of them again and kept her in custody for a few more days.

            • The US legal system is horrible.

              The US does not have, and never had a legal system. It has at best a system of order. This isn't terribly surprising considering that most law enforcement and legal officers in the US are elected rather than appointed. Law in the US was always essentially made up by civilians at a local level, primarily to keep whatever order was deemed neccessary at the time, with little or no thought given to justice, legal theory or common sense. The ultimate manifestation of the US system

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by shentino (1139071)

              No, the US legal system is wonderful...if you happen to be a lawyer.

              And guess the number one profession of pre-election representatives to be?

        • How about establishing "jurisdiction" for software patent cases. It seems stupid to me that they get to cherry pick courts just because it's difficult to say "where" the problem happened. Jurisdiction should be well defined for these types of cases, such as going to the court presiding over the locality the copyrite/patent owner resides (in the case of corporate entities, the locale of their primary place of business [IE: Corporate office location]). And all other courts can/must say "not my problem [J
        • by jklovanc (1603149)

          Teleconferencing is generally a farce. There is no substitute for being in the same room with someone when important issues are being discussed. Much of human communication is in body language that can not be seen over teleconferencing. Sorry but a 4" picture of someone on a screen is not equivalent to watching that same person from ten feet away.There is also a separation effect in that people will say different things when they are in front of a camera than in the same room. Some people lie more when view

      • The city may be losing money, but the officials, judges and the people working in that system aren't.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by interkin3tic (1469267)

        Are you going to suggest banning capitalism in towns with courthouses?

        If it will allow me to continue watching videos of cats doing cute things, people falling down in funny ways, breakdancing, and all the other silly but entertaining things I see on youtube, then I'll suggest that yes, communism socialism anarchy or whatever in Marshall Texas is just fine for me personally. Cede it to North Korea for all I care, just don't let Viacom win.

        (I should explicitly mention that I am not a lawyer, not from Texas, and am not serious)

      • by MBGMorden (803437)

        The outside jurisdiction stuff can't be helped, but I think the GP's point is still valid.

        In criminal cases, if you're accused you're provided an attorney if you cannot afford one. This isn't true in civil cases. In this day and age, your average citizen cannot afford justice against a big company. That's the main point. Doesn't matter if you're right or wrong, the working man can't afford to take a case to a final verdict anyways.

        I say that public defenders should be available to the defendant even in

      • > That has nothing to do with the court system - it actually loses money on each case, whether patent, criminal, or civil.

        Well, they COULD let people transfer things to a more reasonable jurisdiction (i.e. one where at least one of the parties and some of the witnesses are based). Then again, the patent trolls have set up shop there, so they're local now and it doesn't do much good. There was a lot of press once, about how a ruling might allow for transfer to another jurisdiction, but it doesn't seem t

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        Are you going to suggest banning capitalism in towns with courthouses?

        In Texas? Let me get back to you.

        OK, I've thought about it. Upon extensive review, I've decided we should just ban Texas. Their Republican governor has spent them into an 18 billion dollar budget deficit, and the number one issue for the school board is to rewrite text books so they "ain't so liberal".

        Yes, a high electrical fence around Texas is the way to go. It would be a shame to lose Austin, but it's a sacrifice worth making to ri

    • Place suits on slashdot for some mob rule moderation. The loser (or CEO of losing company) gets an ice pick in the eye.
  •   Maybe that's something that needs to be outsourced - civil suits. The way legal firms rack up billing is as great a crime as Hollywood / RIAA accounting.

    • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:10PM (#32953588)

      Sometimes, yes.

      I'm an Engineer. It took me 5 years of University (co-op program) and six years of EIT time before I became a Pro. I would charge out time at about $200 an hour, which is roughly the same as other Pros. (This isn't what I get paid at work but then I get other benefits like steady work, legal resources and insurance, and a great environment.)

      Lawyers get a degree before they go to law school and then have to spend years articling before they can do their bar thing. (What? I'm not a lawyer. My lawyer's a lawyer.) Why should they charge a cheap rate for professional services? Law is a difficult topic and requires a lot of training. It's not like on Law and Order or Ally MacBeal where it's just talking. Most of it is research, practice, and training.

      Loser pay, though, that's the way to go. They do it up here.

      • by 0123456 (636235) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:27PM (#32953806)

        Law is a difficult topic and requires a lot of training.

        Law is a difficult topic and requires a lot of training because laws are written by lawyers. So long as that's the case, law-makers will never do in one paragraph what they could stretch to a thousand pages.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by nomadic (141991)
          Laws written by non-lawyers tend to suck with ridiculous holes and unforeseen consequences. Condense a law that you find overwritten and I will find enough holes in it to drive a truck through.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by scot4875 (542869)

            I would accept your premise if thousand-page-long laws written by lawyers had no ridiculous holes or unforeseen consequences.

            --Jeremy

          • by AK Marc (707885)
            If laws were "interpreted" based on stated intent, rather than explicit word, then we'd be fine again. But when you have lawyers applying layman written laws, you will run into that problem. When you have laymen interpreting laymen written laws with the express instruction to follow the spirit if the letter fails, you'll not have any holes.

            As for unforseen consequences, I'd rather have those than the laws that have specific hidden consequences (not unforseen because the writers saw the holes, they just h
            • If laws were "interpreted" based on stated intent, rather than explicit word, then we'd be fine again.

              "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

              Does that include machine guns and automatic rifles?

              • Well, it doesn't specifically include them, which is the current rationale for excluding them. Not that I agree with that. The problem comes in with the previous wording "a well regulated malitia", which could have just been given as a reason, has been interpreted as an entitiy given those rights, and the power to regulate that entity

                • But, again, there's the whole intent, spirit, letter confusion.

                  If they spent a few more words on that one, we'd...well, we'd still likely be having problems over it, but probably on a more granular scale rather than "completely banning guns in W.,DC" scale.

              • by AK Marc (707885)
                What was the intent of those that wrote it? The sentence isn't interpreted the same by lawyers or even judges, so there is already some legal ambiguity. It wasn't written to be interpreted by non-lawyers. And, since it is so controversial, it would make more sense to abandon that wording and re-state it in something less ambiguous.

                That's a horrible sentence (that isn't even a law, but a guideline for laws, and I stated laws, but I'll let that slide) for this example. It shows more my example of a bad l
            • The "spirit" of legislation is just as open to interpretation as the "letter. For an example look at the history of the very simple statement "all men are created equal".
        • Because the wording needs to be (well, in theory at least) as precise as possible.

          Try to fit IEEE 802.11 into a paragraph and not run into conflicts and problems.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by nine-times (778537)

        "Loser pays" sounds good when you imagine the "good guy" is getting sued and he racks up a bunch of legal bills winning against frivolous lawsuits, but what about when the whole thing is turned around?

        Like lets say McDonald's was putting neurotoxins into Happy Meals and my child becomes permanently disabled because of it. I sue McDonald's, and they hire millions of dollars worth of lawyers who trounce my cheap lawyer. Now I'm on the hook for millions of dollars in legal fees?

        Or is that not how it works?

        • Yes, that's how it works. The end result is that only parties with very, very deep pockets will be able to bear the risk of initiating an action, since you can never be 100% sure of the outcome.

        • Like lets say McDonald's was putting neurotoxins into Happy Meals and my child becomes permanently disabled because of it. I sue McDonald's, and they hire millions of dollars worth of lawyers who trounce my cheap lawyer. Now I'm on the hook for millions of dollars in legal fees?

          Or is that not how it works?

          No, not really. It's a shitty example. Something like that would be class action.

          A better example would be accusing the manager of a McDonalds of spitting in your food, or the local mom and pop store putting neurotoxins in your food.

        • No its not altogether how it works. In the UK, at least, user pays is at the judge's discretion, and the judge gets to decide what reasonable costs should be.

          Losing can still be very expensive.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mini me (132455)

        There is nothing wrong with highly skilled people charging top dollar. The problem is that I cannot hire an unskilled lawyer to take my case.

        If I want to hire a random guy off the street who is willing to represent me for $50/hr., so be it. It is my fault for choosing to use his services in the first place if something goes horribly wrong. Or maybe he will actually be really good at the work it and I will have saved a fortune.

        I recall reading about a case where a lawyer got into a lot of trouble for practis

        • There was a similar case with a high school teacher in my country.

          He was hired by the school and taught there for 13 years. Not only was he regarded as a very kind men (everyone loved him, from students to other employees), but his students got grades much higher than average in the national tests, meaning he was a good teacher too.

          After 13 years the director board accidentally found out he didn't have a diploma, so they fired him (legally, they had to).

          In the mean time, I had a teacher not so long ago who

      • Law is a difficult topic and requires a lot of training.

        And laws are written by lawyers in a way to ensure that a lot of money will have to be paid to lawyers. Like that 1990's modification of trademark law that says that companies MUST sue for all perceived infringement or else lose their trademark, meaning that "yoga inside" gets sued because "x inside" is too close to a chip maker's sales pitch to be allowed to be used for something clearly unrelated to their field.

        • Exactly this, lawyers game the system, and in the process everyone else pays. There is no reason lawyers should be allowed percentages of settlements, EVER. That, to me, is a CLEAR violation of ethics. Lawyers should be paid standard rates, not X percentage when the subject matter relates to law and precedent. Sure if you are a hollywood producer, X% of profit is fine and ethical, but in the legal profession the consequences are too great to allow such freewheeling gaming of the system for profit at the exp
      • by Tailhook (98486)

        Lawyers get a degree before...

        Law educations in government subsidized schools, with government backed student loans... Afterward, charge whatever the market will bear to hell with civilization. Those who practice law have an inherent responsibility to the civilization that chooses to respect it. Today the neglect of that responsibility manifests itself as indifference toward bankrupting all the non-lawyers.

        This will sort itself; the western world is rapidly bankrupting itself and when the ride finally stops there will be little patien

    • by Drew M. (5831)

      It's even easier than that. I'm pretty sure I've seen this idea mentioned before on Slashdot:

      The best scheme that I've seen is to have loser pays, but with the addition that a side is only responsible for up to the amount they spent on their personal lawyer. This brings much more power to the little guy trying to defend a lawsuit, and also makes sure that the corporation can't bury him in an insane amount of fees in the case that he loses.

      This also provides the incentive of "only spending as much as you nee

  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:01PM (#32953510) Homepage

    Perhaps the data is published somewhere or is simply waiting to be compiled, but I would like to know how much was spent lobbying for the DMCA in the first place. This figure can then be compared with the money spent defending. Those numbers could then be used to show how much money was wasted on this and similar laws that offers negative net benefit to those whose copyrights are being "protected."

    As we know, belief trumps fact. It has been widely believed to be true until studies have proven it to be true. So perhaps such a study would be an exercise in futility, but perhaps before MORE stupid laws and treaties are put into place, these sorts of facts need to come out into the open to show the world what is really going on and who is really benefiting. Turns out that the individual people aren't benefiting (we already knew that) but the parties allegedly being defended aren't benefiting either. The courts systems are being burdened and tied up as well. It's all a tremendous waste and the only beneficiaries are the lawyers behind it all.

  • Ask Phil Zimmerman (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GPLDAN (732269) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:02PM (#32953512)
    He spent every cent he had, and went into deep deep debt, trying to keep out of jail for a prosecution orchestrated by RSA as a political favor payback by the US government.
  • McLibel (Score:4, Informative)

    by PIPBoy3000 (619296) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:07PM (#32953552)
    It's not always expensive to litigate. The classic example is the one against McDonald's. [mcspotlight.org]
  • What about Viacom? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hannson (1369413) <hannson@gmail.com> on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:08PM (#32953562)
    I'm wondering how much Viacom spent on that lawsuit.
  • litigating laws that should not exist in the first place

    a kind parasitism, that we are all paying for

    legal cruft, created by lawyers, in the service of paying lawyers and keeping them busy, but adding nothing whatsoever to society or the common good, serving to do nothing but waste other people's money and time and keep a bunch of pointless people buried under paperwork

    what do these people create?

    i'd like one of these lawyers in cases as pathetic and pointless as this to actually try to defend their useless existence

    how can they wake up in the morning and not put a shotgun in their mouths, so utterly without any redeeming quality is their useless existence?

    • by Applekid (993327)

      I'd wager it's the piles of money and many extra-marital affairs that keep lawyers from taking their own lives in disgust.

      • Rainer Wolfcastle: The film is just me in front of a brick wall for an hour and a half. It cost $80 million.
        Jay Sherman: How do you sleep at night?
        Rainer Wolfcastle: On top of a pile of money with many beautiful ladies.
    • This is generally the response of people who can't get their heads around the fact that complicated things are complicated for a reason. People think there's no need for lawyers, or complicated contracts.

      Two guys should be able to take out a loan, buy a truck, and start a moving company without a lawyer, right? It happens all the time.
      Then, one of the guys moves to Florida, to take care of his ailing mother. Who gets the truck? Who makes the payments? What happens to the guy who stays put, who will
      • The problem is when the lawyers cost more than the truck.

        • No they don't. A good small business lawyer can help you set up an LLP / LLC, plus give you a good start on all the regulatory, employment and tax stuff you have to file for a couple of grand.
    • Well, one could argue that the service the lawyers provide here is to test the boundaries of the law- to raise arguments that expose the practical realities of vague legislation. Was Google covered under safe-harbor? it's up to the lawyers to show us all the reasons they are or aren't, according to the law.

      Just playing advocate's advocate
      • by mlts (1038732) *

        The lawyers are not supposed to. The person who REALLY needs to be knowledgeable about such things is the man or woman holding the gavel. They are the ones who are charged with writing the decisions and why they ruled the way they did.

        Lawyers are supposed to make their side win above all else. It is the judge who has to be able to cut through the smoke screens and be able to render a decision that will affect the nation's future.

    • by nomadic (141991)
      So what do you do that is so valuable to society exactly?
    • Thank Metalica, not the lawyers. The lawyers are there because someone lobbied a politician to make a law that someone else disagrees with. The lawyers are there to defend you (for a price) from the idiot that made a law. Who was going to get Lars' money from you dirty pirate? Well they got a lawyer to do it, but you didn't do it, so you get a lawyer to defend you. So the lawyer isn't the problem, Lars is the problem.
  • Repay? (Score:3, Informative)

    by b4upoo (166390) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:14PM (#32953640)

    One would assume that Viacom will be required to pay Google's defense fees. And a nice counter suit is always a possibility.
                            Florida has an answer to appeals trials. One is required to post the sum awarded by the lower court as well as a hefty fee to appear before an appeal court. Since it takes three or four years to get to trial as a rule the lost interest on the money as well as the build up of ongoing legal fees generally rules out any hope of an appeal trial giving relief. Then just to put the frosting on the cake the superior court often rules that the case must be kicked down to the first level and decided from scratch all over again. Then it takes another year to get back to court and get a ruling and there is no guarantee that the case will not be appealed a second time. This turns into a case lasting for fifteen years with expenses so great that the person fighting the uphill side of the battle will drown before it is over.

    • Re: Repay? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dachshund (300733) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:23PM (#32953764)

      Florida has an answer to appeals trials. One is required to post the sum awarded by the lower court as well as a hefty fee to appear before an appeal court. Since it takes three or four years to get to trial as a rule the lost interest on the money as well as the build up of ongoing legal fees generally rules out any hope of an appeal trial giving relief. Then just to put the frosting on the cake the superior court often rules that the case must be kicked down to the first level and decided from scratch all over again. Then it takes another year to get back to court and get a ruling and there is no guarantee that the case will not be appealed a second time. This turns into a case lasting for fifteen years with expenses so great that the person fighting the uphill side of the battle will drown before it is over

      First of all, any post beginning with "Florida has an answer" should send you running for the hills. I've dealt with the State of Florida on a few small issues, and it's how I'd like my justice dealt.

      More seriously, the problem with this approach is that it has a condition that ensures that someone will "drown fighting the uphill side". In general, any time there's a condition where one party can be "drowned" fighting for their legal rights, you can be certain that the drowning will overwhelmingly be done by those least able to afford the lawyers. It won't necessarily correlate to justice. I think we'd all be better off trying to come up with legal systems that work better for everyone, rather than legal systems that shaft one party in various circumstances.

      • by aaandre (526056)

        I think we'd all be better off trying to come up with legal systems that work better for everyone, rather than legal systems that shaft one party in various circumstances.

        It's already here.

        Where WE = the_superrich and EVERYONE = everyone_with_$1b+_litigation_budget.

    • by Dhalka226 (559740)

      One would assume that Viacom will be required to pay Google's defense fees.

      Unlikely. The US is not a loser pays system. Unless Google can prove that Viacom's case had no merit whatsoever (which courts almost never agree with, since frivolous cases are technically not supposed to go forward) or that they otherwise acted in some manner that abuses the legal system, there's little chance the court will order them to pay expenses. And even if they did, they would only order whatever part of $100MM they fou

  • make the loser pay the defendants costs. viacom would think twice before entering into such a lengthy law suit that benefits neither viacom nor google's users, regardless of the outcome.
    and $100m? wowzers! americans just LOVE money, hey?

    • by Hatta (162192)

      What happens when I have to sue Google, or Viacom, or whoever? Then they can afford a 100 million dollar defense, while I cannot. Their 100 million dollar lawyers wipe the floor with my legal team, even if I'm 100% in the right. Then I'm on the hook for 100 million dollars, when I was the one wronged in the first place.

      Not such a simple fix.

    • by tomhath (637240)
      Better would be to only give the plaintiff actual damages and reasonable legal fees. Any punitive damages should go to the state. This removes the lottery payout from most lawsuits.
  • by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Monday July 19, 2010 @03:03PM (#32954370)
    Every time two huge corporations duke it out in court, it's always a long protracted battle that can have only ONE clear winner: THE LAWYERS.
    • Actually, there was a clear winner in this case. Google.
      • And how is paying 100 millions in lawyer fees any different from paying 100 millions in damages to Viacom?
        • by shentino (1139071)

          Simple.

          You pay a shitload on legal expenses even if you have to pay a judgement.

          It's the difference between 100 million and 200 million.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      I beg to differ. Sure, court cases like Sony vs Betamax aren't good for either party but the general public sure won. Assuming this goes on all the way to the Supreme Court and becomes one of those huge landmark cases, there is a lot riding on this. For a number of reasons most people will not self-host, they rely on services like YouTube. If the court does the sensible thing and finds that it's not Google's problem that Viacom is struggling to enforce their copyright, then that'll be a standard for all sit

  • I can't load the linked article - but I can't help but wonder if Google spent $100 million because Google could throw that kind of money around without second thought rather than because it truly costs that much.

  • Whats wrong with the system we have in sweden - looser pays all legal costs.

    That way you dont need to counter sue everytime, and even big corps wont take you to court unless they think they'l win

    Of course it would hurt if the small guy sues big corp and looses, but thats not different in the us, so I dont think we are worse of in that perspective.

  • Our rights in any form now goes to the highest bidder.

  • The sad thing is Google could have spent this money else were and actually did something that would have helped the technology community if they did not have to fight this stupid law suit. They are burning money defending laws that should not need to be defended. I hope Google keeps winning.
  • Why does the OP say "our rights" when Google was ostensibly not defending "our rights"... but rather their rights. And even then, what rights of ours would those be? Does he believe we have a right to redistribute the works of others?

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