Google wins big in Viacom vs. YouTube ruling

After three years of legal wrangling, Google has emerged victorious in a $1 billion Viacom lawsuit claiming the video site knowingly profited from copyright infringement.  ThoughViacom has promised to appeal, the decision is a huge win for Internet Service Providers and a setback for media content providers.

Interestingly, the case revealed that YouTube’s execs welcomed copyright infringement internally in the early days even while they were prepared to fight it.  In employee emails submitted to the court, YouTubers lamented that site traffic could nosedive if users followed the site’s policy of only uploading user generated material.

Google owes its victory to a shelter clause in the Digital Millenium Copyright Act which requires ISPs to police infringement only by responding to specific claims  from copyright holders. The sound logic behind this is that an ISP like YouTube can’t be expected to scan every upload for possible infringement.or accurately identify all infringing content. Continue reading “Google wins big in Viacom vs. YouTube ruling”