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Viacom Says YouTube Ruling Will ‘Completely Destroy’ Copyright

Exaggerated commentary (unfortunately) from Viacom:

Viacom Says YouTube Ruling Will ‘Completely Destroy’ Copyright

Viacom appealed Friday its unsuccessful $1 billion copyright lawsuit against Google’s YouTube in a case testing the depths of copyright-infringement protection under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.

Viacom, on behalf of its MTV, Comedy Central, Black Entertainment Television, Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon units, is seeking to overturn a June ruling that, if it survives, is a boon for internet freedom — and a decision that would make it more difficult for rights holders to protect their works.

The media concern told the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday that, if the lower decision stands, “it would radically transform the functioning of the copyright system and severely impair, if not completely destroy, (.pdf) the value of many copyrighted creations.”

The June 23 decision at issue by U.S. District Judge Louis L. Stanton of New York said internet companies, even if they know they are hosting infringing material, are immune from copyright liability if they promptly remove works at a rights holder’s request — under what is known as a takedown notice.

Stanton disagreed with Viacom’s claims that YouTube had lost the so-called “safe harbor” protection of the DMCA. Viacom maintains Google does not qualify, because internal records showed Google was well aware its video-hosting site was riddled with infringing material posted by its users.

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