In 2010, Viacom lost its $1bn copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube when a US judge ruled the pre-Google version of the site had been protected by the DMCA’s safe harbour provisions.
However, that original summary judgement was reversed by the Court of Appeals in Manhattan a year ago, leading Viacom to claim that “the court delivered a definitive, common sense message – intentionally ignoring theft is not protected by the law”.
So did it? Perhaps not. A federal court has now ruled against Viacom once more, with Google’s blog post crowing in the title that “YouTube wins case against Viacom (again)”.
The company is perhaps unsurprisingly talking up the significance. “This is a win not just for YouTube, but for the billions of people worldwide who depend on the web to freely exchange ideas and information… Today is an important day for the Internet.”
Viacom isn’t happy, obviously, nor is it giving up. “This ruling ignores the opinions of the higher courts and completely disregards the rights of creative artists,” says its statement.
“We continue to believe that a jury should weigh the facts of this case and the overwhelming evidence that YouTube willfully infringed on our rights, and we intend to appeal the decision.”