Michael Elkin, managing partner of Winston & Strawn's New York office, was quoted in a March 21, 2010 New York Post article titled "When it comes to YouTube, it sure seems like the geniuses at Google got snookered."
The article reported that recently released videos and e-mails from a federal lawsuit filed against Google by Viacom show that YouTube's founders knowingly disregarded copyright laws by allowing users to post copyrighted content, such as TV shows and movies. The evidence indicates, according to the article, that YouTube put its business interests ahead of copyright compliance in order to build a viewer base large enough to make it an acquisition target.
Google paid $1.65 billion for YouTube in 2006. Viacom is now suing Google for $1 billion, claiming copyright violation.
"Unless those e-mails reference specific knowledge of specific activities, I don't see how Viacom can claim infringement," said Elkin, whose practice focuses on digital copyright law.