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YouTube wins copyright case over Viacom

YouTube wins copyright case over Viacom

While i had expected Google/YouTube to prevail because the DMCA “Safe Harbor” provisions protect YouTube, I hadn’t expected a Judge to understand well enough to send the case to summary judgement before trial: no trial necessary this is really obvious.

TechCrunch summarizes well:

The fact that the judge granted YouTube’s summary motion to dismiss the case sends a clear message to media companies: live by the Millium Copyright Act, Die by the Millenium Copyright Act. The “safe harbor” provision in that Act is what protects YouTube and other Websites from being sued for the copyright infringement of their users as long as they take down infringing material.

Of course the fact that Viacom was uploading content that other parts of Viacom were having pulled down shows that not ever Viacom knows what is infringing and what is there deliberately on YouTube. And yet they expected Google to magically work it out. Even content not uploaded by Viacom could still be Fair Use and there’s no way to know that except to sort it out in the Courts.

And that’s why the Safe Harbor provisions were put in place: as long as the hosting site does not contribute directly to the infringement (nor knows about it precisely) then it’s not the hosting site’s problem.

Techdirt’s take: Huge Victory: Court rules for YouTube Against Viacom.