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Viacom appeals dismissal of $1bn YouTube lawsuit

Video site dragged back into court

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Viacom is trying to convince an appeals court to overturn an earlier ruling in which a federal judge dismissed the $1bn lawsuit the TV behemoth brought against Google's YouTube.

In June 2010, the copyright infringement suit was ditched in a landmark decision that wasn't only a big win for Google, but also sent a clear signal to other internet outfits, such as ISPs, that they were shielded from such claims under provisions of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

The DMCA offers protection from such claims if infringing material, posted by users of sites, is promptly removed by companies once they are made aware that such a violation has occurred.

Viacom, which owns MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon, called last year's ruling “fundamentally flawed”.

In a hearing at the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Judge Jose Cabranes made no immediate decision about whether Viacom could challenge the ruling.

"YouTube not only knew there was rampant copyright infringement on the site but welcomed it," Viacom lawyer Paul Smith told the court, according to the Associated Press. "These people made this kind of money on somebody else's property." ®

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