YouTube and Viacom end 7-year copyright court battle

After trading charges during a prolonged court battle, the two companies have reached a settlement, the details of which haven't been disclosed.
By Ananth Baliga  |  March 18, 2014 at 3:23 PM
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., March 18 (UPI) -- YouTube and Viacom have reached a settlement over a 7 year battle; Viacom alleged that YouTube facilitated the posting of copyrighted material on its site.

The terms of the out-of-court settlement have not been disclosed but it brings to an end a legal battle that started in 2007. Viacom sued YouTube for $1 billion in 2007, claiming that its shows, such as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, South Park and SpongeBob SquarePants, had been uploaded on the site and viewed thousands of times.

"This settlement reflects the growing collaborative dialogue between our two companies on important opportunities, and we look forward to working more closely together," the two companies said in a joint statement.

For its part, YouTube said that it had compiled with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which states that a host site, such as Youtube, was not responsible for content uploaded by its users, and acted when asked to remove such content by the copyright holder.

After the copyright case was filed in 2007, a court found Youtube not guilty of any wrongdoing in 2010, saying that YouTube had followed the law and been compliant. Viacom then wasted no time in filing an appeal and the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the company's favor. That led to the case being reopened for the next two years.

The two companies traded allegations over the the duration of the legal battle. Google, YouTube's parent company cliamed in 2010 that Viacom had secretly uploaded the content in question, even though it was complaining about the presence of such content on Youtube. Viacom denied the charges and said YouTube was hiding behind a "willful blindness policy."

[PCWorld] [BBC]

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