About Digital Millennium Copyright Act Section 512

Summary of Section 512

The DMCA establishes a clear, fair and equitable framework for determining when companies operating over the internet should be immune from damages liability for copyright infringement. It strikes a balance between "promoting the continued growth and development of electronic commerce, and protecting intellectual property rights." H.R. Rep. No. 105-551(II), at 23 (1998). It strikes that balance in two key ways. Download Full Summary (PDF)

YouTube Myth vs. Reality

YouTube's ability to prevent the spread of copyrighted materials and its right to protection under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act are frequently misunderstood. The truth behind these myths is a different story. Download Full Summary (PDF)

If You Believe Your Video Was Removed In Error

What To Do If You Believe Your Video Was Taken Down From YouTube in Error

If you feel that Viacom or any other content owner has misidentified your content as infringing, resulting in it being taken down from YouTube in error, you may file a counternotification directly with YouTube. The link below will take you to YouTube's instructions for filing an official counternotification.

If you believe your content was misidentified by Viacom, you may if you prefer send us an informal notice by emailing You should include the URL of the clip you believe was taken down in error, your contact information and as much other information as you can provide about your clip. We will handle these notices essentially the same way as if we received a notice from YouTube. There are some legal differences, however, and we cannot give you legal advice as to how you should proceed. Our goal is to review all of these notices within one business day, although unusual volume, unusually complicated issues or other factors could delay our review.

Additional Information

Q&A On Privacy Implications of Discovery Order in YouTube Litigation

Viacom is suing Google and YouTube for rampant copyright infringement of Viacom's movies and TV shows on the website. Viacom's complaint alleges that Google and YouTube intentionally operate the site to profit from infringing video clips - including thousands of Viacom programs. Google and YouTube claim that they are not responsible for the infringement and that their users should be held responsible for uploading the infringing clips. Google further claims that Viacom should sue the users instead of Google and YouTube. Viacom strongly disagrees with that position and believes that Google and YouTube should be held accountable for the massive infringement they intentionally perpetrate and from which they profit. Download Full Document (PDF)

Press Release: Copyright Class Action Against YouTube/Google Gains Significant Support From Leading Music Publisher, International Sports, Others

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (June 6, 2007). Cherry Lane Music Publishing Co, one of the world's leading independent music publishers -- responsible for catalogues of world famous artists such as Elvis Presley, Quincy Jones, The Black Eyed Peas, John Legend, and more than 65,000 other copyrights -- along with the national French tennis organization (Federation Française de Tennis) and French soccer league (Ligue de Football Professionnel) join and strongly support the copyright infringement class action claims against YouTube and Google, it was announced today by the lead plaintiffs in the case, The Football Association Premier League Limited ("Premier League") and Bourne Co. ("Bourne"). Since the filing of the suit, plaintiffs and their counsel have been contacted by a large number of copyright holders, including through the toll-free number (1-866-725-0516) and litigation website ( ) established to facilitate communications with prospective Class members. Download Full Release (PDF)

Cal IV Entertainment Class Action Complaint Against YouTube

Download Class Action Complaint (PDF)

Premier Soccer League, Bourne Co. Class Action Complaint Against YouTube

Download Class Action Complaint (PDF)


Viacom recognizes that the "fair use" doctrine may permit some use of limited amounts of copyrighted material for specific purposes such as criticism, commentary, teaching or parody. You may learn more about some of the factors that apply in making a fair use determination at the following link on the Copyright Office website:

There are no specific rules to determine whether a particular use is fair use. Although our policy is not to take down material that we believe is a good faith fair use of our content, we cannot give you legal advice on this subject and we may enforce our rights if we disagree with a claim of fair use. Regardless of the law of fair use, we have not generally challenged users of Viacom copyrighted material where the use or copy is occasional and is a creative, newsworthy or transformative use of a limited excerpt for non commercial purposes. There is no need to determine whether a proposed use of our content is fair use if you are accessing content on Viacom's own websites such as,,,, or and are making proper use of the tools available on those sites which enable various functions, including, in some cases, uploading and embedding.