Copyright claims against YouTube could compel Google to change its business practices and potentially lose revenue, the company said in an SEC filing yesterday.
"Our planned acquisition of YouTube may also subject us to additional copyright claims upon the closing of the transaction," the quarterly report said. "Adverse results in these lawsuits may include awards of damages and may also result in, or even compel, a change in our business practices, which could result in a loss of revenue for us or otherwise harm our business."
The filing said that companies had filed copyright claims against Google, alleging that features of Google Web Search, Google News, Google Video, Google Image Search and Google Book Search infringe their rights.
The filing made note that Google faces several copyright complaints in Europe over queries that contain copyrighted terms.
"The outcomes of these lawsuits have differed from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Courts in France have held us liable for allowing advertisers to select certain trademarked terms as keywords. We are appealing those decisions. We were also subject to two lawsuits in Germany on similar matters where the courts held that we are not liable for the actions of our advertisers prior to notification of trademark rights. We are litigating or recently have litigated similar issues in other cases in the U.S., France, Germany, Italy, Israel and Austria. Adverse results in these lawsuits may result in, or even compel, a change in this practice which could result in a loss of revenue for us, which could harm our business."