YouTube, Viacom copyright lawsuit reignites


The $1 billion copyright lawsuit being fought between Viacom and YouTube has reignited after a court overturned an earlier ruling that favoured the video-sharing website.

The Manhattan-based US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said a “reasonable jury” could find that YouTube executives did know that users were posting material that infringed Viacom’s copyright.

Media company Viacom sued Google-owned YouTube in 2007, alleging that material from shows such as South Park was illegally shared between 2005 and 2008. In 2010, a judge ruled that because YouTube had promptly removed copyrighted videos when notified, it was protected by a provision under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

But the most recent decision will be an obvious blow to YouTube, which reaffirmed that it removed the disputed videos when asked. Viacom welcomed the decision, saying it was confident of prevailing in the lawsuit.

The latest ruling comes only days after Google signed a deal with Paramount Pictures, owned by Viacom, to provide films on YouTube’s online rental store. Viacom and Google also clashed this year over the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). While Viacom lobbied in favour of the controversial SOPA, which proposed handing greater powers to law enforcement officers, Google participated in an online protest against it.

This article was first published on 01 June 2012 in World IP Review

YouTube, Viacom, copyright lawsuit

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