The court presiding over the $1 Billion lawsuit Viacom levied against YouTube has finally ruled…in YouTube and Google’s favor, dismissing the case.
In a post at the YouTube blog, Kent Walker, Vice President and General Counsel at Google, had this to say:
Today, the court granted our motion for summary judgment in Viacomâ€™s lawsuit with YouTube. This means that the court has decided that YouTube is protected by the safe harbor of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) against claims of copyright infringement. The decision follows established judicial consensus that online services like YouTube are protected when they work cooperatively with copyright holders to help them manage their rights online.
This is 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. Weâ€™re excited about this decision and look forward to renewing our focus on supporting the incredible variety of ideas and expression that billions of people post and watch on YouTube every day around the world.
Obviously Viacom could very well appeal the decision, and it’s likely that they will if Viacom and Google lawyers can’t come out of this with some kind of mutual agreement, but even if Viacom does appeal, that just means the standard of proof is going to be that much higher for them in an appeals court, which would have to determine if there’s some new evidence or specific reason why the lawsuit wasn’t handled properly or the correct decision was made in the first place.
Only time will tell, and this certainly isn’t the last volley in this battle, but here’s hoping both parties can settle out of court – clearly this hasn’t put much of a dent in either of their businesses, aside from the legal fees both sides must have incurred.
(thanks to Mashable for the tip!)