Viacom Loses Copyright Case Against YouTube

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Today, the court found in favor of YouTube in regard to its spat with Viacom over claims of copyright infringement.

In March 2007, Viacom slapped YouTube with a $1 billion lawsuit claiming that YouTube had made 160,000 unauthorized clips available to the public as well as encouraging its users to commit copyright infringement. YouTube disputed the suit, stating that its content falls under the protection of “fair use,” which allows for the reproduction of copyrighted materials if used for criticism or commentary.

“This is an important victory not just for us, but also for the billions of people around the world who use the web to communicate and share experiences with each other,” Google Vice President Kent Walker posted on YouTube’s blog. “We’re excited about this decision and look forward to renewing our focus on supporting the incredible variety of ideas and expression that billions of people post and watch on YouTube every day around the world.”

Viacom, meanwhile announced its plans to pursue the case in spite of the court’s ruling.

“We believe that this ruling by the lower court is fundamentally flawed and contrary to the language of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act,” Viacom said in an emailed statement. “The intent of Congress, and the views of the Supreme Court as expressed in its most recent decisions.”