YouTube 1 Viacom 0 in first round of copyright court battle

Manhattan district judge Louis Stanton has thrown out Viacom’s $1bn law suit against Google-owned YouTube.

Viacom, owned by feisty billionaire Sumner Redstone, had alleged that thousands of its copyrighted videos had been aired on YouTube and YouTube had done nothing about it until Viacom complained.

YouTube maintained that it had taken them down as soon as it could, which was the most it could reasonably do. The judge agreed.

Viacom begs to differ, saying the ruling is “fundamentally flawed.”

The dispute is sure to find its way back into court unless Viacom and YouTube can strike a commercial deal for YouTube to show Viacom videos. Talks to date have tried and failed.

This judgement is vital to Google which is also involved in a fight with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation over its ‘aggregation’ activities on Goole News. This one hasn’t reached court so far and maybe won’t now following the Stanton judgement.

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