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Judge tosses Viacom's YouTube suit

June 23, 2010 at 7:23 PM

NEW YORK, June 23 (UPI) -- Viacom Inc. said Wednesday it will appeal a ruling by a federal judge in New York dismissing its $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube.

Viacom alleged in the suit that Google Inc., which owns YouTube, is not protected from claims of copyright violation under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The law's so-called safe harbor provision allows uploading of copyrighted matter provided a Web site operator takes down content if a copyright owner objects that it was posted without permission, The New York Times said.

Viacom, which owns several cable television operations whose content has been popular on YouTube, said in a statement Wednesday the judge's ruling "is fundamentally flawed and contrary to the language" of the copyright act.

"We intend to seek to have these issues before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as soon as possible," the statement said.

Viacom operates 170 channels and 430 digital media properties around the world -- including MTV, VH1, CMT, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, TV Land, BET, Rock Band and Paramount Pictures.

Google General Counsel Kent Walker said in a post on the company's Web site the decision was "an important victory not just for us, but also for the billions of people around the world who use the Web to communicate and share experiences with each other," the Times reported.

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