Newsletters
Business News for Technology Decision-Makers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Business Briefing Mobile Industry News Small Business Business Intelligence More Topics...
World Wide Web
Real-time info services with Neustar
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Viacom
Viacom's Lawsuit Against Google Springs Back to Life

By Barry Levine
April 6, 2012 8:02AM

Bookmark and Share
An appeals court said of the Viacom-Google copyright lawsuit that the district court correctly interpreted the Digital Millennium Act as requiring knowledge of infringement. But it reinstated Viacom's lawsuit against Google because a jury could reasonably find that YouTube had such knowledge of specific instances of copyright violation.
 



Google is not out of Viacom's legal woods yet. On Thursday, a U.S. appeals court revived the lawsuit against Google for the use of copyright videos on YouTube.

Reversing a ruling from June 2010, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided that, in the words of Judge Jose Cabranes, "a reasonable jury could find that YouTube had actual knowledge or awareness of specific infringing activity on its Web site."

Not 'General Awareness'

Viacom, in conjunction with other media companies such as the English Premier League and several film studios and TV networks, had sued Google in 2007 over the posting of copyright material, including clips from such shows as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and South Park. The plaintiffs said that nearly 80,000 copyright video clips had been posted over a three-year period.

In the 2010 ruling, a U.S. District Court found that YouTube was not liable simply for having a "general awareness" that some protected videos could have been uploaded to its site, and that it did not need to monitor the postings for such violations.

One of the issues had been if the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act protected YouTube and similar companies from such broad-brush lawsuits. A safe harbor component of that law said that a company is not liable if it is not aware of infringement, although it must eliminate infringement if it becomes aware of the violation.

According to the Act, a company could not "induce, enable, facilitate, or conceal infringement," and that meant no editing, review, or control of submitted material, because it would then have knowledge and become liable for infringements.

'Item-Specific Knowledge'

The appeals court said the lower court correctly interpreted the Digital Millennium Act as requiring knowledge of infringement, but it reinstated the lawsuit because a jury could reasonably find that YouTube had such knowledge. A key difference between the courts is that the appeals court disagreed with the district court's finding that knowledge meant "item-specific knowledge."

YouTube issued a statement that pitched Thursday's decision as a rejection of "Viacom's reading of the law."

The video site contended that, what began as "a wholesale attack on YouTube" by Viacom has now been whittled down to "a dispute over a tiny percentage of videos long ago removed" from the site. It added that "nothing in the decision impacts the way YouTube is operating," and that it would continue to be "a vibrant forum for free expression around the world."

Viacom also saw the appeals court's decision as helping its cause. It said in a statement that "this balanced decision provides a thoughtful way to distinguish legitimate service providers from those that build their businesses on infringement." The company added that the court "delivered a definitive, common sense message to YouTube," namely that "intentionally ignoring theft is not protected by the law."

Google and Viacom are now partnering on content projects, such as YouTube channels for some of Viacom's networks, like the Comedy Channel. Some industry observers are suggesting that Viacom may decide to drop the suit, although Google and other sites receiving posted material could now find themselves open to litigation from other parties, such as studios or newspapers.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:





 World Wide Web
1.   'Right To Be Forgotten': 26 Questions
2.   Tor Working To Fix Security Exploit
3.   Twitter Admits to Diversity Problems
4.   Internet of Things Comes to DIYers
5.   Social Media Haters Speak Up


advertisement
Radical.FM's Freemium Biz Model
Online radio startup asks for donations.
Average Rating:
Facebook Social Experiment Irks Us
Secretive test was legal, but ethical?
Average Rating:
'Right To Be Forgotten': 26 Questions
EU regulators probe Google, others.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Microsoft Makes Design Central to Its Future
Over the last four years, Microsoft has doubled the number of designers it employs, putting a priority on fashioning devices that work around people's lives -- and that are attractive and cool.
 
Contrary to Report, Lenovo's Staying in Small Windows Tablets
Device maker Lenovo has clarified a report that indicated it is getting out of the small Windows tablet business -- as in the ThinkPad 8 and the 8-inch Miix 2. But the firm said it is not exiting that market.
 
Seagate Unveils Networked Drives for Small Businesses
Seagate is out with five new networked attached storage products aimed at small businesses. The drives are for companies with up to 50 workers, and range in capacity from two to 20 terabytes.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Is the Amazon Fire Phone a Winner?
A late entry into a packed category of smartphones, Amazon's Fire phone offers a variety of unique features. Now, the reviewers are assessing if they're enough to make the phone stand out.
 
Review: Amazon Fire Offers New Ways To Use Phones
The Fire phone uses Android, but Amazon has modified it to the point that it's barely recognizable. That means the phone offers new ways to navigate, discover and, of course, shop.
 
Apple Patent for Smart Watch Comes to Light
Does a new smart watch patent issued to Apple provide a preview of the expected wearable from the tech giant? Some Apple-watchers are parsing the patent for signs of the coming product.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Business
Home/Top News | Business Briefing | Mobile Industry News | Small Business | Business Intelligence | Innovation | E-Commerce | Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.