March 18, 2014
// News

Google and Viacom Settle YouTube Lawsuit

About seven years ago Viacom brought a copyright lawsuit against Google that looked like it could have major implications on broadcasters’ content being posted to YouTube without their consent. Today, it feels like a footnote for an issue that has seemingly settled itself as the two sides announced an out-of-court settlement.

Crowd-sourced content websites like YouTube are essentially protected from litigation because the courts don’t see them as liable for what their users do.  In essence, they provide a platform, but they can’t be expected to police every single use of that platform. This also protects sites like Facebook from copyright owners constantly suing them for users posting bits of their content without previous consent.

Google has tried to make good with content copyright owners by adding a system for tracking and removing offending content, as well as the option to run ads against it and share in the revenue generated.

While this suit ended without any major implications on Web-broadcaster copyright issues, what’s really interesting is how chummy the two sides seem to be coming out of it.

Read more about the details of the suit and settlement from Peter Kafka at Re/code.


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