RULING: Judge Tosses Viacom’s Billion Dollar Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against YouTube

youtubemoney.gifYAHOO: A federal judge in New York sided with Google Inc. in a $1 billion copyright lawsuit filed by media company Viacom Inc. over YouTube videos, saying the service promptly removed illegal materials as required under federal law. Wednesday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton in the closely watched case further affirmed the protections offered to online service providers under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The 1998 law offers immunity when service providers promptly remove illegal materials submitted by users once they are notified of a violation. That safe harbor had helped persuade Google to buy YouTube for $1.76 billion in 2006, even though some of its own executives had earlier branded the video-sharing service as “a ‘rogue enabler’ of content theft,” according to internal documents unearthed in the case. The bitter dispute revolves around Viacom’s allegations that YouTube built itself into the Internet’s most popular video site by milking unlicensed use of copyright-protected clips stolen from Viacom cable channels such as MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon. YouTube’s whirlwind success led to the Google sale that generated huge windfalls for the video channel’s founders, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim. Citing e-mail exchanges among those founders, Viacom depicted the founders and other YouTube employees as video pirates who were more interested in getting rich quick than adhering to copyright laws. But Stanton concluded YouTube’s actions outweighed the words of the YouTube founders. MORE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *