Viacom has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Google’s YouTube service for using unauthorized clips of television shows like “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report” and “South Park.” The $1 billion lawsuit was first filed in 2007 and a judge sided with YouTube in 2010, although a federal appeals court abandoned the original ruling. On April 18, US District Judge Louis Stanton again ruled that the “safe harbor” provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protect Google and YouTube. As we have noted before, the 1998 law limits the liability of websites that remove content after being notified of possible copyright violations. “The burden of showing that YouTube knew or was aware of the specific infringements of the works in the suit cannot be shifted to YouTube to disprove,” Judge Stanton said.
Viacom did not do itself any favors when it admitted that it had “now become clear that neither side possesses the kind of evidence that would allow a clip-by-clip assessment of actual knowledge” in its opposition to YouTube’s summary judgment motion. That admission is enormously beneficial for Google, YouTube and all defendants in similar copyright infringement lawsuits, as it shows how neither side can definitively prove that a service provider knowingly allowed infringing material to be uploaded.
You can learn more about intellectual property litigation by visiting our website, and Los Angeles business litigation attorney Robert G. Klein has more than 25 years of experience representing clients in complex copyright matters. If you need legal representation for copyright registration, enforcement or infringement matters, contact our firm at (323) 653-3900 or enter your information in the form on this page to let our Los Angeles copyright infringement attorney review y
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