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April 4, 2012 10:24 pm
Google entered an agreement with Paramount Pictures to license hundreds of movie titles, at the same time the search group battles Viacom, Paramount’s parent company, in an ongoing copyright infringement lawsuit.
The new partnership adds 500 new movie titles to Google’s roster of films available for rent digitally in the US and Canada through YouTube and Google Play, its new entertainment hub, including recent pictures such as Hugo and Transformers, as well as older classics like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and the Godfather Trilogy.
Google now has almost 9,000 titles available for rent globally, including the US, UK, Canada, Japan, and France.
Though the move gives Paramount further exposure for its titles and builds Google’s bank of content, the two parties continue to fight in court over alleged illegal posting of Viacom content on YouTube.
The case was originally dismissed in 2010, when a district court sided with Google, saying the search giant had complied with federal laws by removing copyrighted content when notified of its presence.
But Viacom appealed against the decision in October last year, saying the law put undue burden on copyright owners to police their own content and arguing that Google should proactively screen and remove infringing content.
With the addition of Paramount, Google said it was now working with five of the six major Hollywood studios, including Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures Entertainment, NBCUniversal and Walt Disney Studios, indicating it had its sights set on the remaining studio, Fox Films Entertainment.
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