YouTube Scores Key Victory in Copyright Fight With Viacom LA Times

Google's YouTube has scored a victory in a legal battle over copyright infringement that was brought by Viacom, reports the Los Angeles Times.

A federal judge ruled that YouTube hasn't violated Viacom's copyright, even though users on the video site posted unauthorized clips from some of the cable giant's top programs, such as "SpongeBob SquarePants," the story says.

Viacom originally filed the suit in 2007, demanding $1 billion in damages.

The story reports: "U.S. District Judge Louis L. Stanton wrote in a 24-page opinion that YouTube was shielded from copyright infringement claims by a safe-harbor provision in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Stanton dismissed Viacom's lawsuit, and ordered Viacom to pay some of YouTube's costs."

Google's general counsel called the ruling "a win not just for YouTube, but for people everywhere who depend on the Internet to exchange ideas and information.”

Viacom vowed to appeal, the story adds.