An appeal court has overturned a previous ruling that now allows Viacom Inc. to proceed in a lawsuit against YouTube. The lawsuit alleges YouTube allowed copyrighted videos on its website without permission.
YouTube will have to defend itself from Viacom’s lawsuit after the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled in Viacom’s favor. YouTube was sued by Viacom back in 2007 for $1 billion. Viacom alleged YouTube was responsible for a lot of the copyrighted material being uploaded to by its users.
According to Gizmodo, in 2010 a lower court ruled in YouTube’s favor, saying that the company was protected from liability for what their users do. This was because YouTube was in compliance with DMCA procedures. YouTube, under the DMCA, must take down any offending videos if it is notified by copyright holders that the content is protected by copyrights. However, YouTube will not be able to hide behind the DMCA thanks to the new ruling.
According to the New York Times, YouTube released a statement on Thursday saying there really is not much left to Viacom’s lawsuit except for a dispute over a tiny percentage of videos that were removed by YouTube a long time ago. YouTube said the recent court ruling will not impact the way it runs its business, and it will continue to be a place for free expression from all over the world.
Viacom was happy about the ruling, saying the court delivered a common sense message that ignoring theft is not a protection from the law.
According to the Washington Post, Paramount Pictures and YouTube recently signed a deal to put nearly 500 films online to be rented by users. Paramount’s parent company is Viacom but the deal is moving forward regardless of the lawsuit.
The recent announcement makes Paramount the fifth well-known Hollywood studio to allow movies to be rented from YouTube’s online video store.