YouTube Wins Summary Judgment in Copyright Battle with Viacom


A judge granted Google's YouTube motion for summary judgment in Viacom's copyright lawsuit against the online video giant.

Viacom filed a $1 billion suit against YouTube back in March 2007.

The original complaint claimed 160,000 unauthorized clips were available on YouTube and those clips had been viewed 1.5 billion times.

This is hardly the end of this battle — Viacom says it's going to appeal this ruling.

In the three years since the suit was filed YouTube has gone to great lengths to identify all the clips on its site and to monetize those clips for the content owners. While YouTube has gotten a range of media giants on board—from Disney to the Associated Press to CBS, Viacom has remained firm in its opposition.

Below are the statements from both companies:

From Viacom

"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."

From YouTube

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 Millennium 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.

Questions? Comments?