Google Cleared of Viacom’s Billion Dollar Lawsuit
Viacom made claims that Google Inc violated copyrights by having clips from their shows on the popular video website. Viacom stated that YouTube added material which belonged to the network’s television channels such as MTV and Comedy Central and it was liable for infringement, however the judge disagreed to their claims.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton ruled that YouTube isn’t liable for infringement and that the company was protected by the safe-harbor provision of the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act due to YouTube removing the copyrighted material from their servers when the copyright owner notified them.
Stanton stated that the provider has to know about the issue before they can control it and the provider does not need to monitor or to seek out facts which indicate such activity. The judge went on to state that Google gets about 24 hours worth of video every minute and they had a policy of removing content and banning users after three offenses for adding content that is infringing.
After not wanting to have the case heard as a trial, in March Viacom stated that YouTube has benefits financially by allowing users/uploaders to post and share television shows as such as “South Park” without their permission.
Meanwhile, Viacom plans on making an appeal while Google feels this is a win for YouTube, Google and the Internet.
What do you think? Should companies such as Viacom just jump on the bandwagon since TV will unfortunately dwindle soon and let access be granted to television shows online? Should they work on a new business plan to gain financially from ads and follow in the footsteps of Hulu and Comcast’s FanCast in-conjunction with Hulu which gives you bonus programming when you have an account with the ISP.