YouTube survives Viacom copyright case

YouTube is safe for now, thanks to a court ruling that protects the video site and other sites that host user-generated content.

YouTube is safe for now, thanks to a court ruling that protects the video site and other sites that host user-generated content.

Viacom brought a case against Google, owner of YouTube, in 2007 in a $ 1bn lawsuit over copyrighted material available on YouTube. The ruling means YouTube is protected against claims of copyright infringement by the US safe harbour of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Viacom is believed to be appealing against the ruling.

On the YouTube blog, Kent Walker, vice-president and general counsel, wrote, "The decision follows established judicial consensus that online services like YouTube are protected when they work co-operatively with copyright holders to help them manage their rights online."

The court paper said, "A service provider shall not be liable for monetary relief or for injunction or other equitable relief, for infringement of copyright by reason of the storage at the direction of a user of material that resides on a system or network controlled or operated by or for the service provider, if the service provider is not aware of facts or circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent."

Vent said, "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 are 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."

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