Viacom files appeal in YouTube case

The media company is reopening a copyright infringement case against Google’s video service

Viacom is attempting to revive a 2007 lawsuit against YouTube in which it accused the video service of copyright infringement.

Viacom sued YouTube in 2007, claiming the Google-owned online video service allowed its viewers to watch its copyrighted TV shows, such as “South Park” and “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton ruled in 2010 that YouTube’s awareness of viewers illegally uploading videos was protected under the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which protects companies from liability when they restrict access to videos after receiving violation notices.

The media company is now seeking to appeal the decision based on charges that the video service knowingly broke copyright laws when it posted the company’s television shows.

During an appeals hearing on Monday, a panel of three judges in the 2nd Circuit deliberated over whether the video company’s “general knowledge” of illegally posted videos was significant to the case, and whether the company was acting out of a “no-action policy” that prevented it from restricting postings until it received violation notices.

Andrew Shapiro, a lawyer for YouTube, told the court that there was “no evidence of a single clip that infringed copyright that YouTube did not take down.”

At press time, the panel had yet to rule on the case. 

Visit Thomson Reuters for more information on the appeal.  

Danielle Feinstein

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