Judge Tosses Universal Music Suit Against Veoh; Safe Harbors & Common Sense Prevail
from the google-should-be-happy dept
In a ruling that has to make the folks at Google/YouTube happy (despite not being a part of the case), a judge has granted summary judgment to Veoh over Universal Music, claiming that Veoh’s video hosting site is protecting from liability of infringing videos due to the DMCA’s safe harbors. This case, which has many similarities to Viacom’s lawsuit against YouTube, has gone against Universal Music in almost every way. This is now the second time that Veoh has had such a lawsuit dismissed, and hopefully the judge in the YouTube case recognizes that this is, in fact, the right decision under the DMCA. This latest ruling isn’t a huge surprise. Earlier this year, the judge seemed to reject all of Universal’s arguments for why safe harbors shouldn’t apply. Universal also got smacked down (twice) in its attempt to separately sue Veoh’s investors for the actions of the company’s users.
While Veoh, as a company, may be struggling, this is a huge victory for common sense. This case describes exactly the sort of situation that the DMCA safe harbors were designed to deal with. A service provider who has no direct say in what content is uploaded by users should not be liable for that content. It’s great that judges are seeing this, and hopefully the judge in the YouTube case sees it the same way. Veoh’s case isn’t “over” yet, though, since Universal will appeal — and has already claimed the ruling is “wrong.” Yet, so far odds of a successful appeal are not looking good. Hopefully, the appeals courts will also correctly interpret safe harbors (and common sense) to recognize that a service provider should never be liable for the content put up by users.