After nearly three years of discovery, the parties in the massive Viacom v. YouTube copyright suit will finally lay out their arguments on paper Friday, when opening briefs in support of summary judgment motions are due. Interested observers will finally get to see whether Viacom -- as well as the plaintiffs in the similar class action suit brought by the English Premier Soccer League, Bourne Music Publishers, and others -- has the goods on YouTube, or whether the video-hosting site will stay safely within the DMCA's Section 512(c) safe harbor. Did YouTube employees themselves upload infringing videos? What did they know about infringement on the site? How quickly do they respond to takedown notices? Did Viacom upload its own videos to YouTube, thus bolstering YouTube's arguments that it can't tell which videos are infringing, and so can't be expected to take them down without specific notice from copyright owners? Will Google have to dig into the reported $200 million it set aside to cover copyright liability when it bought YouTube in 2006? Tomorrow, we will likely get a little closer to the answers to these questions, and a lot more.
In the both the Viacom and Premier League cases, opening summary judgment briefs are due March 5, oppositions April 30, and replies June 4. In the Premier League case, the plaintiffs' motion for class certification is due March 26, YouTube's opposition May 7, and plaintiffs' reply June 11.