Viacom – YouTube Litigation
This site is designed to provide perspective and legal evidence regarding Viacom's copyright infringement
litigation against YouTube and Google. The site will be updated regularly to reflect the latest developments.
VIACOM FILES BRIEF WITH U.S. COURT OF APPEALS
Outcome Critical To the Future of American Copyright Industries
America's economic future will be largely built on innovation, information and the growth of trade in intellectual property. However, an information-based economy cannot exist if the products and ideas developed are not protected under U.S. law.
The record in this case is clear. As the lower court acknowledged, YouTube 'welcomed' infringement in order to build traffic on its site. In doing so, it violated the law. Actively encouraging and facilitating rampant infringement is clearly illegal and is not protected by the DMCA – a law intended to provide safe harbor against liability where online services providers take reasonable steps to prevent infringement.
In enacting the DMCA, Congress expressly sought to achieve a balance between protecting content and encouraging the development of new forms of online distribution. It's a sensible approach that benefits all parties who work in good faith. The intentional theft of copyrighted works not only undermines that balance; it destroys the value of the very works Congress sought to protect along with the businesses of online distributors who honestly comply with the law.
Number of Viacom's Infringed Clips in Lawsuit: 62,637 Videos
Views of Viacom's Infringed Clips on YouTube: More than 500,000,000 Views
Value of Google Shares Paid Purchase of YouTube When Deal Closed: $1.8 Billion
Value of Google Shares Paid to YouTube Founder Chad Hurley
When Deal Closed: $334 Million
Value of Google Shares Paid to YouTube Founder Steve Chen
When Deal Closed: $301 Million
Number of Days YouTube's Community Flag Button Allowed Users to
Indentify Videos For Copyright Violations: 10 Days (September 12 to 22, 2005)
Popular YouTube Keyword Searches Prior to Google Acquisition:
"South Park," "Daily Show," "Jon Stewart," "Flavor of Love"
Date YouTube Began to Filtering Infringing Clips for its Business Partners
In Revenue-sharing Deals: February 2007
Date YouTube Began Filtering Infringing Clips for Viacom: May 2008
What's at Stake: Copyright Piracy Costs the US Economy $58 Billion in Total Output
What's at Stake: The Core Copyright Industries in the US Employed Nearly
5.6 Million Workers in 2007, More than 4% of the U.S. Workforce
IN THE NEWS
Viacom/YouTube: Will The 2d Circuit Continue to Shield YouTube from Liability under
the DMCA for Welcoming Infringement On Its Site?
by Andrew Berger
The Viacom/YouTube copyright infringement case is a classic, 4-year fight between
two media goliaths that is now at the Second Circuit.
Viacom Replays Copyright Claims in YouTube Appeal
by Michael Liedtke
Viacom Inc., the owner of MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, is trying to revive a
federal lawsuit that seeks more than $1 billion in damages from YouTube for showing
tens of thousands of pirated video clips from its shows.
Viacom's Appeal in the YouTube Case - Analysis
by Eriq Gardner
Viacom has just filed its much-anticipated appeal of a district judge's decision to
dismiss its $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube.
Grokster Redux: Why the Summary-Judgment Ruling in
Viacom v. YouTube Should Be Reversed
by Thomas D. Sydnor II
In Viacom Int'l, Inc. v. YouTube, Inc., U.S. District Judge Stanton held that because the original founders of YouTube had responded to takedown notices, they were protected against monetary civil liability for copyright infringement by the § 512(c) "safe-harbor" created by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the "DMCA")-even if they were also intentionally inducing mass copyright piracy just like the defendants in MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. For at least two reasons, Judge Stanton's Viacom Opinion should be appealed and reversed.
Viacom v. YouTube: Can YouTube Welcome and Profit From Infringing Activity and Then Claim Not to Know About It?
by Andrew Berger
Is Judge Stanton's decision in Viacom v. YouTube vulnerable on appeal? You bet. Before I explain why some background.
Viacom v. YouTube: A Missed Opportunity
by Scott A. Zebrak, National Law Journal
The recent Viacom v. YouTube litigation was an opportunity to meaningfully clarify the contours of acceptable and unacceptable behavior by so–called "user–generated content"
sites toward copyrighted works. Unfortunately, on June 23, a federal district judge in the Southern District of New York missed that opportunity, granting the video–sharing site
YouTube LLC (now owned by Google Inc.) a complete victory. The extreme ruling is the latest in a disturbing trend of one–sided interpretations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
(DMCA) in favor of service providers, to the detriment of copyright holders.
Viacom V. YouTube: The Rest of the Story
by Cory Andrews, Washington Legal Foundation
Unfortunately, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York yesterday rendered a decision that effectively grants blanket immunity to website operators who tolerate and profit from copyright infringement.
Google Wins Round One Against Viacom
by Ronald A. Cass, Forbes.com
Legal rights that protect property are cornerstones of successful societies. Freedom to take what others have built--the rule of pirates--undermines them. In the film Pirates of the Caribbean,
when Keira Knightly's character seeks to invoke the Pirate's Code, Geoffrey Rush (the Pirate Captain) explains that he need not keep to the letter of the law--for pirates, the Code isn't a set
of binding rules, "just guidelines, really." On Wednesday one judge treated a legal provision designed to protect property rights without going overboard in much the same way--as just guidelines,
really. But what makes a good movie line doesn't make good law.
Viacom v. YouTube: Why Are We Re-Litigating Grokster?
by Thomas Sydnor, The Progress & Freedom Foundation
"Again?" That was my reaction when I read the Opinion and Order issued last night by Judge Louis Stanton in Viacom v. YouTube. How ironic that the original YouTube--the "video Grokster" will now force
the re-litigation of a minor variation of the same question answered unanimously by the Supreme Court in MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. But so be it. I've seen this movie already. I think I know
how its sequel ends.
Coalition Condemns Google Ruling
by Ted Johnson, Variety
Another org has weighed in against the U.S. District Court's Google decision in favor of YouTube: It's Arts+Labs, which was launched several years back to bridge the Silicon Valley-Hollywood divide.
The coalition of creative and tech companies includes partners Viacom (which lost the suit), Microsoft, Songwriters Guild of America, JibJab, NBC Universal, Cisco and AT&T.
Why Viacom Likely Wins Viacom-Google Copyright Appeal
by Scott Cleland, Precursor Blog
Viacom is likely to ultimately prevail in its appeal of the lower Court decision in the seminal Viacom vs. Google-YouTube copyright infringement case.
Viacom v. YouTube: A Disappointing Decision, But How Important?
By Ben Sheffner, Copyrights & Campaigns
I've now had a chance to re-read and digest last week's summary judgment ruling in Viacom v. YouTube. A few thoughts:
DGA Statement Regarding Viacom-YouTube Lawsuit
by Taylor Hackford, President, June 24, 2010
The DGA is troubled by the judge's decision to shield copyright-infringing websites based on his interpretation of the safe
harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Objecting to the Increasing Burden on Copyright Owners and Creators
by Patrick Ross, Executive Director The Copyright Alliance, June 24, 2010
How did we find ourselves in a world where a group of venture-funded entrepreneurs can knowingly build a business model off of the display of
unauthorized copyrighted works, be on the record as knowing that their cash flow would stem almost solely from this infringement, and still get
off the hook as long as they took works down after being notified by the copyright owner? What are the implications of this world not just for
producers of television shows and motion pictures, but for creators of all stripes?
PFF's Sydnor Says All Lose with YouTube Court Order
by Thomas Syndor, The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog, June 24, 2010
Judge Stanton held that federal law creates a "safe harbor" that protects not only criminal conduct, but criminal racketeering enterprises. That result
made no sense in Grokster, and it makes no sense today. In doing so, Stanton's decision endangers consumers, hosting services, and artists–it leaves
everyone worse off.
This Case Is Bigger
Than Just Viacom and YouTube:
YouTube Is Liable:
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