Viacom lost its $1 billion lawsuit against Google and YouTube for alleged copyright infringement when a judge granted summary judgment. YouTube's defense was that it used the "safe harbor" protection of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) where YouTube would remove allegedly infringing videos after being notified, and after three offenses a poster would be banned from YouTube. On June 23, 2010 US District Judge Louis Stanton granted YouTube and Google's motions in defense of claims brought by Via and other plaintiffs. In the 30 page Opinion Judge Stanton pointed out that "over 24 hours of new video-viewing time is uploaded to the YouTube website every minute." Viacom plans an appeal, but at this moment this appears to be a monumental ruling for Google and YouTube which helps define Copyright law on the Internet. As a trial lawyer my experience is that Judges rarely grant summary judgment (there are no facts in dispute, and the moving party wins on the law without a trial). It is more likely than not that Google and YouTube will prevail on the appeal since the trial Judge granted summary judgment. This case is important given size of YouTube and its role in changing Social Media.
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