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YouTube Reaches Lawsuit Data Deal with Viacom

YouTube user-tracking data sent to Viacom under court order in connection with its copyright lawsuit will be stripped of identifying information under a late-Tuesday agreement between the parties.

Earlier this month, a judge ordered that Viacom receive the information.

The accord is in connection with Viacom’s $1 billion copyright-infringement lawsuit against top video Web site YouTube, which is owned by Google.

The lawsuit stems from Viacom complaints of video clips from Comedy Central’s TheDaily Show with Jon Stewart, Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants and other Viacom properties being posted on YouTube by amateur video makers.

Still open is whether activity data from YouTube employees and its affiliates will include identities.

In a statement, Viacom said: “Agreeing to our suggestion to anonymize the end-user data is the best way for Google to address privacy concerns.”

“We are pleased that Viacom and the other plaintiffs backed off their original demand for individual viewing histories,” Google senior litigation counsel Catherine Lacavera said in a statement.

Privacy-rights proponents opposed the turnover of any data and were generally critical of the judge’s rulings.