Wednesday June 23rd, 2010 marks the end of round 1, which began back in 2007, for the Google owned YouTube vs. Viacom lawsuit with an unanimous decision in favor of YouTube. Judge Stanton's summary judgment states that section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act offers safe harbor to ISPs that take an active role in responding to copyright infringement complaints. He also stated that, "the DMCA is explicit," meaning sites like YouTube do not have to actively seek out infringing content, they only are required to respond to complaints.
Hit the break to read about Viacom's stance on the issue.
Viacom's view on the matter remains unchanged and Michael Fricklas has vowed to appeal the decision and made a statement saying,
YouTube and Google stole hundreds of thousands of video clips from artists and content creators, including Viacom, building a substantial business that was sold for billions of dollars. We believe that should not be allowed by law or common sense.
In another statement by Fricklas he said that the case needed to reach the appellate courts in order to address the underlying issue, which is to get copyright laws changed at the source.
It's clear that YouTube is tasting sweet victory for the moment but I believe that the fight will be taken to a new level once it enters into the appellate courts. So far, YouTube has been protected by the DMCA which has not yet been scrutinized by a higher court. When the DMCA itself can be questioned as viable, the safe harbor it offered YouTube in the past could turn into a short-lived luxury possibly leaving them open for the knock-out blow Viacom is looking for. YouTube has come a long way and has persevered against a media giant thus far. The question is will they come out of round 2 on top?