Educators are closely watching a $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit challenging YouTube's ability to keep copyrighted material off its popular video-sharing web site—a lawsuit that could have important implications for the future of Web 2.0 applications, observers say.

In court papers filed late last week, YouTube's owner, Google Inc., argues that the lawsuit threatens how hundreds of millions of people exchange all kinds of information online. Judging from the responses of those who spoke with eSchool News, many educators would seem to agree.

"The success of a lawsuit such as this would have a chilling effect on any site that allows users...

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