Viacom appeals US$1bn YouTube court decision

12 Aug 2010

US entertainment giant Viacom has submitted paperwork to a court in New York making official its intention to appeal a decision by a judge in June to throw out a US$1bn case it had taken against Google and YouTube.

In June Judge Louis L Stanton of the Southern District of New York ruled that Google was shielded from Viacom’s copyright claims by “safe harbor” provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which protect a website from liability as long as the website removes the material when requested by its rightful owner.

Viacom launched its legal campaign against YouTube in 2007 accusing YouTube of copyright infringement after thousands of Viacom videos were uploaded onto the site and alleged YouTube profited from this.

Judge Stanton said that while Google knew copyright material had been uploaded on YouTube, it did not know which clips had been uploaded with permission and which did not have permission.

Yesterday, however, Viacom submitted paperwork to the US District Court for the Southern District of New York seeking to appeal the decision.

Following Stanton’s ruling in June Viacom vowed it would “seek to have these issues before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as soon as possible.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years