YouTube says it will mask the identities of individual users when it gives viewership records to Viacom and other copyright holders.
The Internet video sharing company was ordered earlier this month to provide the information as part of a one-billion dollar copyright-infringement lawsuit.
YouTube says it will substitute user IDs, Internet addresses and other identifiers before handing over the database to Viacom. In a blog posting to users, YouTube promised to protect their identities while fighting for their "right to share and broadcast your work on YouTube."
Viacom says YouTube and its owner Google built the business by using the Internet to "willfully infringe" the copyrights on shows such as "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "SpongeBob SquarePants."