Internet Law

Google Scores Summary Judgment Victory in Landmark $1B YouTube Copyright Case

Google is off the hook, at least for now, in a $1 billion copyright infringement case brought by Viacom over unauthorized uploads by YouTube users of copyrighted material from television shows and movies.

In an opinion and order (PDF) today, U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton granted a motion the Internet giant and other defendants for summary judgment, finding that they fell into a safe harbor provision of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act because they were not actively involved in any infringement by third parties while using YouTube, according to CNET News.

Viacom, which was seeking $1 billion, vowed to appeal the Southern District of New York ruling, saying that Stanton had misread the DMCA.

While infringing material must be removed by webmaster, the Google defendants took appropriate action to do so, the judge found, once they were aware of a specific problem, reports Bloomberg.

“The provider must know of the particular case before he can control it,” writes Stanton in today’s decision. “The provider need not monitor or seek out facts indicating such activity.”

Additional coverage: “Google IDs Defenses in YouTube Suit, Faces New Smartphone Name Claim” “Google: Viacom Uploaded to YouTube While Complaining About Infringement”

Threat Level (Wired): “Judge: DMCA Protects YouTube in Viacom Lawsuit”

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