NEW YORK – Activist groups sued Viacom Inc. on Thursday, claiming the parent of Comedy Central improperly asked the video-sharing site YouTube to remove a parody of the cable network’s “The Colbert Report.” Viacom responded by saying it had no records of ever making such a request. Although the video in question contained clips taken from the television show, MoveOn.org Civic Action and Brave New Films LLC argued that their use was protected under “fair use” provisions of copyright law. With Viacom identified by YouTube as the source of the removal request, they said Viacom should have known the use was legal and thus its complaint to YouTube to have the video blocked amounted to a “misrepresentation” that is subject to damages under the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The challenge, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, came about a week after Viacom filed its own, $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube, claiming that the wildly popular Web site is rife with copyrighted video from Viacom shows, including “The Colbert Report.” Neither YouTube nor its parent, Google Inc., was named in the latest lawsuit, filed on the plaintiffs’ behalf by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society. In a letter to the plaintiffs’ lawyers, Michael D. Fricklas, general counsel for Viacom, said the company had no record of sending YouTube a complaint, despite YouTube’s identification of Viacom as the source. YouTube had no comment about the discrepancy. After reviewing the clip, Fricklas said, “I can inform you that Viacom has no problem with your client’s continued use of it on its Web site or on YouTube.” Corynne McSherry, a staff attorney with the EFF, said the organization had checked directly with YouTube’s staff to confirm Viacom’s role and would investigate further with YouTube. “We’re happy they don’t have a problem with our clip, … but at this point it is still our understanding that they sent a takedown notice based on it,” she said. “As far as we’re concerned, we still have a lawsuit pending.” Under the DMCA, YouTube and other service providers are generally immune from copyright lawsuits as long as they promptly respond to copyright complaints, known as takedown notices.
Now, the four teams, all national title contenders, are competing for that one Final Four spot. “You take a look at the bracket and what’s handed you and you have to keep everything some sort of chronological order,” said Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale. “We could go, `Oh my gosh! We’ve got to play Maryland, we’ve got to play Tennessee, we’ve got to play Ohio State.’ No, you don’t. Some of those guys have to play each other.” The 64-team tournament begins Saturday. Although all four rank in the top 10 in the RPI standings, committee chair Judy Southard defended putting them in the same region. “One of the things we have to remind everyone of is that the RPI is just one of the tools we use,” she said. “The RPI is a quantitative measure that doesn’t reflect the quality of a team.” The Fresno regional is loaded with juicy story lines. The Dayton, Ohio, regional is just loaded. Tennessee – a No. 1 seed along with Duke, North Carolina and Connecticut – headlines a NCAA women’s tournament regional stuffed with defending champion Maryland and two conference winners. The Terrapins are No. 2 in Dayton, while Big 12 champ Oklahoma is No. 3 and Big 10 power Ohio State is the fourth seed. “This region is very, very stacked, but am I surprised? Absolutely not,” Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said. “I’d have been surprised if it hadn’t been. There’s a lot of great teams obviously in our bracket, and yet there’s no easy bracket in women’s basketball these days.” Surely, being the defending champion does. Maryland has a very simple, very difficult mission – trying to become the first repeat champions since Connecticut won three straight from 2002-04. The Terrapins will face Ivy League champion Harvard on Sunday in Hartford, Conn. Maryland, which returned all five starters from last season’s team, was 0-5 against Duke and North Carolina this season. “The only team that’s going into the tournament knowing they can win it is Maryland, cause they’ve won it, and they’ve got a lot of the players back from the team that won it,” Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said. While competitive balance is the hot topic in Dayton, the Fresno region is bursting with subplots off the court. LSU, the No. 3 seed, is without coach Pokey Chatman, who abruptly resigned last week. The Tigers will play UNC Asheville on Friday in Austin, Texas. “Our mission will never change,” said LSU center Sylvia Fowles. “We know what we’re here for. We know where we’re trying to get and what we’re trying to prove so our mission stays the same.” The sentimental choice in Fresno might be North Carolina State and coach Kay Yow. The Wolfpack, which has won 11 of 13 games since Yow returned from breast cancer treatments, is the No. 4 seed. It will play Robert Morris on Sunday in the first round in the Raleigh, N.C., subregional. “The team was just really excited to have me back. I was excited to come back,” Yow said. “When you have a player that is out and not with you, you’re not whole. You want everyone there doing what they can. It inspires me to be back, and I think it inspires my staff and my team to be back.” Waiting for them in the regionals likely will be No. 1 seed Connecticut (29-3), which opens against No. 16 UMBC on Sunday in Hartford and eventually could face No. 2 Stanford, which plays No. 15 Idaho State at home. If they advance past the first two rounds, the Huskies must travel to Fresno for the regionals. During its run of five national championships since 1995, Connecticut hasn’t been farther West than Kansas City. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!