Friday, April 06, 2012

It's Baaaaack! (Viacom's $1 Billion Lawsuit v. YouTube Revived)

Just when Google/YouTube thought it was safe to go back to biz with Viacom, a federal appellate court just revived Viacom's $1 Billion + copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube.  Specifically, the highly respected Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the lower court's prior dismissal of the mega-lawsuit prior to to trial.  Instead, according to today's Wall Street Journal, the federal appeals court sent the case back to the lower court to "determine if YouTube had knowledge or awareness of specific infringing material and whether it willfully blinded itself to that specific content."

This is a big deal -- a very big deal -- as this copyright battle royale could have massive impacts across the Internet.  And, this ruling comes just days after the world had thought that Viacom had befriended YouTube -- as Paramount had just licensed 500+ movies to YouTube.  Well, Viacom's sentiments today are a bit different.  In its public statement about the appellate court's reversal, Viacom stated that "the court delivered a definitive, common sense message -- intentionally ignoring theft is not protected by the law."

Ouch indeed.