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YouTube beats off $1bn Viacom copyright case once AGAIN

Judge still reckons video site is a 'safe harbour'

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The courts have once more sided with YouTube in the copyright case brought against it by Viacom and others.

The billion-dollar lawsuit was first filed way back in 2007, not long after Google snapped up the video streaming service. Viacom alleged that YouTube was knowingly allowing copyright-infringing material to be posted onto the site.

YouTube has always argued that users are responsible for the footage that's uploaded, and it's happy to pull any copyrighted content once it gets a takedown notice.

US District Judge Louis Stanton agrees with the cat-video-hosting service, saying it falls under the "safe harbour" provision of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which protects any company from copyright-infringement liability if it's just the medium used to post the content, according to a court filing.

This is the second time YouTube has won the case: Judge Stanton ruled the same way back in 2010 and wanted the case dismissed, but Viacom won on appeal, sending the case back to the court.

Despite the fact that Viacom and YouTube now work together - the media giant's Paramount Studios' movies are available for rent through the site - Viacom still intends to appeal the decision again. After all, no one lets a pesky thing like business partnership get in the way of a good court bust-up.

"This ruling ignores the opinions of the higher courts and completely disregards the rights of creative artists," Viacom said in a canned statement. "We continue to believe that a jury should weigh the facts of this case and the overwhelming evidence that YouTube wilfully infringed on our rights, and we intend to appeal the decision." ®

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