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Viacom Appeals YouTube Ruling

8 Dec, 2010 By: Chris Tribbey

Viacom Dec. 3 appealed a U.S. District Court judge’s June ruling that safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act protected Google-owned YouTube from copyright violations alleged by the studio.

The ruling dismissed Viacom’s three-year-old, $1 billion copyright infringement suit against YouTube, with Judge Louis Stanton saying YouTube worked to remove infringing material “swiftly.”

“The district court erred in holding that Viacom had failed to raise a genuine question of fact on that issue,” the appeal reads. “Quite to the contrary, the undisputed evidence — and even the district court’s opinion — compels the conclusion that YouTube had, at least, disqualifying awareness of facts evidencing massive, blatant and rampant infringement.”

Viacom contends that YouTube “welcomed” infringement in order to build traffic on its site.

“Internet service providers that not only are aware of pervasive copyright infringement, but actively participate in and profit from it, enjoy no immunity from the copyright laws and may be held to account for their theft of artists’ creations,” the appeal reads.

A Google statement about the appeal reads: “The court here, like every other court to have considered the issue, correctly ruled that the law protects online services like YouTube, which remove content when notified by the copyright holder that it is unauthorized.”

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