Viacom and YouTube Settle Copyright Lawsuit — What It Means for User-Uploaded Content

Mar 19, 2014  •  Post A Comment

After a seven-year dispute, Viacom has settled its $1 billion copyright lawsuit against Google’s YouTube, reports Re/code.

Terms weren’t disclosed, although the report notes that no money traded hands.

Viacom originally filed the lawsuit in 2007, claiming that YouTube knew about videos that had been swiped from its cable-television networks. But YouTube scored a victory in 2010, when a judge ruled in favor of the Google unit, ReCode notes. After two appeals, Viacom and YouTube were slated to appear in court again later this month, the story adds.

“Seven years ago, the copyright lawsuit looked like it would have major implications for the way the Web worked. But by now the suit had become an asterisk, because in many ways the core issues have been settled by both the courts and the market,” the report notes.

The story adds: “In very broad strokes, the practical consensus is that digital services like YouTube — and Twitter, and Facebook, and everyone else that distributes lots of content uploaded by its users — are not responsible for copyright violations if they don’t explicitly encourage them, and if they let copyright holders take down stuff they don’t want up there.”

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