Google defeats Viacom in $1billion copyright spat

Google has won its long-running court case against Viacom, in which the snooping giant’s YouTube was accused of massive copyright infringement. Viacom brought the case seeking $1 billion in damages. It said it will appeal the ruling.

U.S. District Court Judge, Louis Stanton’s decided Google was protected by the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act protects YouTube, which grants "safe harbour" to service providers who act to remove copyright violations when they are informed about them.

YouTube managers may have been aware that many video clips on the site may be copyrighted but"mere knowledge of prevalence of such activity in general is not enough" the judge decided.

In a 35-page decision Judge Stanton noted that YouTube takes down clips if copyright holders complain, so in his opinion it abides by the DCMA.

A miffed Viacom described the ruing as "fundamentally flawed and contrary to the language of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act,"

It said it would take the "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."

Google said the court had decided that, "YouTube is protected by the safe harbor (sic) 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."

The firm said its victory was "important" not just for it, "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," it blathered.