Media conglomerate Viacom has levelled new charges at Google in the companies' ongoing copyright feud over YouTube videos.
Viacom has released documents that it claims show that Google used the threat of pirated content to coerce copyright owners into making licensing deals with YouTube. The site was accused of threatening to unblock and allow certain copyrighted videos unless the studios agreed to its terms.
Viacom cited a series of in-house presentations made by Google in 2006 before it acquired YouTube. The video-sharing site was at the time struggling to fend off multiple copyright suits.
Viacom claims that the documents show that Google was aware of the practice, and that executives chose to continue threatening studios with the posting of pirated content.
"Google nonetheless went ahead with the acquisition and explicitly embraced infringement as a business model," said Viacom.
"Indeed, not long before the acquisition, the executive in charge of managing Google's core product offerings, including search, sent Google's co-founders and chief executive an internal presentation explicitly advocating that Google use the threat of copyright theft to advance its business interests."
Google has said that the documents are being taken out of context and are not relevant to the case.
The move by Viacom is the latest in what has become a billion dollar legal battle between the two corporate giants over alleged copyright violations.
Viacom claims that Google has been allowing and profiting from repeated copyright violations on the site, while Google has defended its policies and accused Viacom leaking its own content to YouTube.
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