Once again, YouTube had risen as victor against Viacom in a copyright lawsuit that has been limping along for quite some time now. U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton sided with the video hosting service, stating that YouTube is protected by the DMCA, and that Viacom’s arguments against it demonstrated an anachronistic slant on the law.
This is the second time Judge Stanton has sided with YouTube, having also done so a couple years after the lawsuit surfaced in 2007. Viacom’s argument was that YouTube’s business was formed on the backs of copyrighted content, having failed to implement a system for preventing such materials. It was ruled that YouTube was in the safe harbor provision of the DMCA.
Despite this, appeals judges ultimately decided to bring the lawsuit back, saying that the quantity of copyrighted content featured on the website in that time period was in the majority, and that YouTube was aware of it. The problem it noted, however, was that Viacom must show that the video service was aware of individual instances of infrigement, something Judge Stanton says it has acknowledged that it cannot do.
Viacom claimed that YouTube purposely ignored copyright infringing content, and that it could have implemented a system to filter it but chose not to. In response, Judge Stanton stated that YouTube, under the DMCA, is not required to search for the infringing content, and that Viacom failed to demonstrate that YouTube engaged in “willful blindness.” Regarding the issue of whether it intentionally avoided limiting the content, the judge ruled that it doesn’t matter, the safe harbor provision still applies.
[via Hollywood Reporter]