Google wins Youtube copyright lawsuit

If you didn't know, for a while now Google has been the center of a lawsuit from Viacom over YouTube - they are seeking over $1 billion in damages for their content being on the site, and have argued that YouTube is essentially a huge version of Napster - a music sharing service shut down a few years ago. 

In a report from AllThingsD today, Google won the lawsuit that Viacom had launched, and Viacom promised to appeal the federal court ruling saying that:

"We believe that this ruling by the lower court is fundamentally flawed and contrary to the language of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the intent of Congress, and the views of the Supreme Court as expressed in its most recent decisions. We intend to seek to have these issues before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as soon as possible. After years of delay, this decision gives us the opportunity to have the Appellate Court address these critical issues on an accelerated basis. We look forward to the next stage of the process."

According to the report, Google won the lawsuit because of the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) law created way back in 1998 grants them "safe habour" because they "don’t know about specific copyright violations," and will "fix copyright violations when they learn about them". Since YouTube is predominantly user content, and they take down clips if copyright holders complain, they are in clear, U.S. District Court Judge Louis Stanton said.

Google also released a statement Wednesday saying that:

"Today, the court granted our motion for summary judgment in Viacom’s lawsuit with YouTube. This means that the court has decided that YouTube is protected by the safe harbor of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) against claims of copyright infringement. The decision follows established judicial consensus that online services like YouTube are protected when they work cooperatively with copyright holders to help them manage their rights online.

This is an important victory not just for us, but also for the billions of people around the world who use the web to communicate and share experiences with each other. We’re excited about this decision and look forward to renewing our focus on supporting the incredible variety of ideas and expression that billions of people post and watch on YouTube every day around the world."

Provided that Viacom can't have the ruling overturned, it's a huge victory for media sharing websites such as YouTube who use the DMCA as defense in lawsuits.

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22 Comments

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youtube should become the new television. digital receivers should embed youtube straight into the firmware. viewers would be able to watch traditional cable, dish, etc... while at the same time have youtube directly on their front room televisions. if content was "never" removed, we could enjoy endless programming without ever having to worry about recording ever again.

Viacom has some of the worst stations on TV. They ruin everything they touch by turning it all into nothing but reality crap and garbage. I hate the company ...

So how come this defence doesn't work for bittorrent or other p2p sites?

Something to do with money and influence perhaps?

Who can deny Youtube's success has been built upon hosting copyrighted content? I've seen p2p sites remove stuff when the publisher requests and yet they still get shut down. Any one explain?

adam.mt said,
So how come this defence doesn't work for bittorrent or other p2p sites?

Something to do with money and influence perhaps?

Or more probably because it's raw copies of the stuff in question, without *any* recompense. (Unlike ad or pay-supported sites).

adam.mt said,
So how come this defence doesn't work for bittorrent or other p2p sites?

Something to do with money and influence perhaps?

Who can deny Youtube's success has been built upon hosting copyrighted content? I've seen p2p sites remove stuff when the publisher requests and yet they still get shut down. Any one explain?


I found another site explaining it:
http://torrentfreak.com/google...or-bittorrent-sites-100624/

youtube is already almost a streaming music,video service with billions++ of stuff to enjoy only some restriction of blocking in certain country (which is completly unfair and indeed a coward action)

IphoneMini said,
youtube is already almost a streaming music,video service with billions++ of stuff to enjoy only some restriction of blocking in certain country (which is completly unfair and indeed a coward action)

Complying with local laws is a coward action?

Instead of suing Google, and demanding that they take copyrighted stuff down, the should be thinking of ways to use the free exposure the generate revenue. A few more progressive media companies are already starting to do this.

Shiranui said,
Instead of suing Google, and demanding that they take copyrighted stuff down, the should be thinking of ways to use the free exposure the generate revenue. A few more progressive media companies are already starting to do this.

I quite agree with you, instead of fighting and wasting millions in a lawsuit, they should create some type of YouTube version but of their content with ads built in their videos and they can generate money and audience.

warwagon said,
This is fantastic news. When will Viacom realize people wanted to watch their stuff.

Actually there was contraversy as viacom uploaded some of the material that they then themselves complained about.

n_K said,

Actually there was contraversy as viacom uploaded some of the material that they then themselves complained about.
If Viacom put some of their material on youtube, I think that should mean legally that they gave up their copyright and put it into public domain.

n_K said,

Actually there was contraversy as viacom uploaded some of the material that they then themselves complained about.

Yes, exactly. If this case is partially about that, I'm very happy Google won it.

I'm thinking that even for material they didn't upload, they still want to seek damages instead of just requesting the stuff to be taken down, because they don't really care much for the public availability as much as their greed.

Beaux said,
If Viacom put some of their material on youtube, I think that should mean legally that they gave up their copyright and put it into public domain.
That makes as much sense as claiming that if Microsoft ever gives a copy of Windows or Office away to anyone then they give up their copyright on those products.

markjensen said,
That makes as much sense as claiming that if Microsoft ever gives a copy of Windows or Office away to anyone then they give up their copyright on those products.

I take you didnĀ“t read carefully? Viacom is suspected to have planted their own material on youtube to sue them later; no company should lose rights for giving their products as gifts/courtesy as in your Microsoft example.