YouTube, Google get win in copyright infringement suit... for now

Viacom's $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube for copyright infringement is kaput--for now. A judge Wednesday granted Google's request for a summary judgment. In dismissing the suit, YouTube, and parent Google, appear to be protected by the safe harbor of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act against claims of copyright infringement.

Google's VP and General Consul Kent Walker said the decision was "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."

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton said YouTube "swiftly" removed infringing materials when they were notified by rights holders, even though a jury might find that YouTube and Google "welcomed" the material because it was "attractive to users."

The decision makes it tougher on media companies to keep Internet companies and consumers from using their material online without compensation.

Viacom indicated it would appeal the ruling.

Google, Walker said, believes it would win an appeal as well, and said it is monitoring other copyright infringement cases, particularly one against Veoh, which sold off its assets earlier this year in part because of legal bills it incurred fighting the suit.

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