Yesterday a NY court again dismissed Viacom’s $1 billion suit against Google/YouTube for copyright infringement. The court found that the DMCA shielded YouTube from liability after an appellate court (see prior blog post) vacated the prior dismissal.
This decision reaffirms the fact that, subject to certain exceptions, the burden of policing copyright infringement falls squarely on the copyright owners, not online service providers who host content uploaded by users. One of the potential exceptions at issue here is if the online service provider has actual knowledge of specific infringing content. The court found that even if YouTube knew generally that there was a lot of infringing content, the exception did not apply because there was no evidence that they knew of specific clips that were infringing.
This decision again confirms the power of the DMCA for online service providers who host user uploaded content. But the DMCA protections do not automatically apply. You must take proactive steps to benefit from the protection. If you have any questions about the DMCA please contact us.
Here is a copy of the decision.