Google Inc won a landmark victory over media companies as a Manhattan federal judge threw out Viacom Inc’s $1 billion lawsuit accusing the Internet company of allowing copyrighted videos on its YouTube service without permission.
Viacom claimed “tens of thousands of videos on YouTube, resulting in hundreds of millions of views,” had been posted based on its copyrighted works, and that the defendants knew about it but did nothing to stop illegal uploads.
But in a 30-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton said it would be improper to hold Google and YouTube liable under federal copyright law merely for having a “general awareness” that videos might be posted illegally.
“Mere knowledge of prevalence of such activity in general is not enough,” he wrote. “The provider need not monitor or seek out facts indicating such activity.”
Viacom said it plans to appeal to the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals.