Google settles long-running copyright battle with Viacom
Google has settled a landmark copyright lawsuit in which Viacom accused it of posting video on YouTube without permission.
Viacom first sued Google and YouTube for $1 billion in 2007. That suit was thrown out of court, but later resurrected.
The settlement was announced 11 months after US District Judge Louis Stanton in Manhattan rejected Viacom’s damages claims over Google’s alleged posting of clips from “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”, “South Park”, “SpongeBob SquarePants” and other shows that viewers had uploaded to YouTube.
“This settlement reflects the growing collaborative dialogue between our two companies on important opportunities, and we look forward to working more closely together,” the companies said in a joint statement. Terms were not disclosed.
Viacom had been appealing that decision to the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. Oral argument had been scheduled for March 24, according to court records.
Viacom’s original suit accused YouTube of broadcasting 79,000 copyrighted videos on its website between 2005 and 2008.
The case tested the reach of the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a 1998 law that made it illegal to produce technology to circumvent anti-piracy measures, but limited liability of online service providers for copyright infringement by users.
In ruling against Viacom for the second time in three years, Judge Stanton had concluded in his April 2013 decision that Google and YouTube had been protected from Viacom’s copyright claims by “safe harbour” provisions in the law.
A lawyer for Google declined to comment. Lawyers for Viacom did not immediately respond to requests for comment.