YouTube beats Viacom in copyright case

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YouTube beats Viacom in copyright case

Viacom to appeal.

YouTube has scored a legal victory in its copyright case with Viacom.

A US district court has ruled that the video-sharing site and its parent company Google complied with the "safe harbour" requirements of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

The ruling strikes down Viacom's US$1bn legal action against YouTube, which the media giant accuses of profiting from trade in pirated videos of Viacom television programmes.

Dating back to early 2007, Viacom had accused Google of allowing hundreds of thousands of Viacom-owned video clips to be posted to the site and gathering advertising profits from the video traffic.

The case was among the largest of YouTube's remaining legal battles, and had recently turned ugly when the two firms accused one another of blackmail and fabricating copyright infringement cases.

"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," wrote Google vice president and general counsel Kent Walker in a blog post on the ruling.

"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."

Viacom said that it will be appealing the decision.

"YouTube and Google demonstrated that required tools to limit piracy aren't impossible to find or even that difficult to implement, they fixed the problem of rampant piracy on YouTube after Viacom filed this lawsuit," said Viacom executive vice president and general counsel Michael Fricklas.

"Before that, however, YouTube and Google stole hundreds of thousands of video clips from artists and content creators, including Viacom, building a substantial business that was sold for billions of dollars."

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