Viacom and Google reach settlement over YouTube copyright claims

18 Mar 2014

Media giant Viacom and Google have reached a settlement regarding the long-standing copyright dispute over the search engine’s video-sharing website, YouTube.

The case was first brought to the courts in 2007 by Viacom over what it saw as a serious challenge to its copyrighted content that was being posted on YouTube by users.

While the settlement figure has not been released, Viacom had initially demanded US$1bn in damages from Google over the whole affair, but it is understood that the settlement was not a financial one.

In a statement on its website, Viacom made a brief announcement about the agreement, stating, “Google and Viacom today jointly announced the resolution of the Viacom vs. YouTube copyright litigation. This settlement reflects the growing collaborative dialogue between our two companies on important opportunities, and we look forward to working more closely together.”

Viacom is one of the world’s biggest media companies, owning TV channels like MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon and has recently posted an operating income of US$960m in the final quarter of last year, a 20pc increase on the same position in 2012.  

The battle in the courts saw the first victory in favour of Google in 2010, after the judge presiding over the case all but dismissed Viacom’s claims.

It was then appealed but was subsequently rejected again last year, with Viacom also deciding to appeal for a second time before reaching today’s agreement.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic