Court Ruling In Veoh Case Could Be A Big Boost To YouTube Over Viacom

from the a-good-decision dept

A judge has ruled that online video hosting site Veoh is not guilty of copyright infringement for videos uploaded by its users. The judge made the proper ruling here, noting that the DMCA's safe harbors protect Veoh. The lawsuit was brought by adult video entertainment firm Io, who was upset that Veoh's users kept uploading clips from its films. As the judge properly noted, Veoh follows all the rules necessary under the DMCA to avoid liability (this doesn't mean that the individuals doing the uploading aren't liable, however).

While this may seem like a small case, it is quite similar to Viacom's infamous lawsuit against YouTube/Google. Considering that YouTube follows the DMCA's rules in a similar manner to Veoh, this ruling suggests that YouTube is also protected by the DMCA safe harbors, just as many had stated from the beginning. The key issues raised by Io (and also raised by Viacom) is that these sites lose their DMCA safe harbors because they take action on the content, often transcoding the content from one format into flash. However, the judge in the Veoh case trashed that argument pretty easily:
Here, Veoh has simply established a system whereby software automatically processes user-submitted content and recasts it in a format that is readily accessible to its users. Veoh preselects the software parameters for the process from a range of default values set by the third party software... But Veoh does not itself actively participate or supervise the uploading of files. Nor does it preview or select the files before the upload is completed. Instead, video files are uploaded through an automated process which is initiated entirely at the volition of Veoh's users
The folks over at Google are, understandably, pretty happy about this ruling, which confirms their position that YouTube is protected: "It is great to see the Court confirm that the DMCA protects services like YouTube that follow the law and respect copyrights."

Reader Comments

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  1. identicon
    You Tube, 28 Aug 2008 @ 6:20am

    In other words...

    ...kiss the blackest part of our asses, Viacom!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    DS78, 28 Aug 2008 @ 6:31am


    Send this judge a box of cigars!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    deadzone (profile), 28 Aug 2008 @ 6:33am

    Good news

    It's nice to hear some good news for a change. Hopefully this will indeed set precedent and bolster Google's position in their fight against Viacom.

    These are 2 major heavyweights though so I am sure Viacom has something cooked up to respond to this. Let's just hope that it's not enough to convince the judge.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    hegemon13, 28 Aug 2008 @ 6:51am


    I am not sure whether I am more excited about the ruling or about the fact that a judge gave an accurate technical description of how the process works. A judge with an aptitude for technology, who knew?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Aug 2008 @ 7:15am

    "4th Smart Judge This Year" Award!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    CM, 28 Aug 2008 @ 7:41am

    Now, i've never heard of either of these companies (Im sure their popular in certain circles), but it got me thinking.
    If these result is so important, could not someone (anyone)have 'sued' Youtube/google for copyright infringement, made all these silly arguments, but coming from an individual or inexperienced lawyer, be shot down, nevertheless, setting a precedent for future cases, ie. viacome v. google?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Aug 2008 @ 8:05am

    fuck viacom

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    moe, 28 Aug 2008 @ 11:59am

    Re: setting wrong precedent

    Courts are bound by the law, not by precedent. Sure, they rely on precedent but not blindly. If a precedent is set, but it's wrong based a poor interpretation of the law, then a future court (or an appeals court for the same case) can rule otherwise, effectively overturning the precedent.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), 28 Aug 2008 @ 12:11pm


    Google/Youtube don't step up AT ALL to any attacks on their user base, prefering to roll over and ban users with spurious complaints against them, so I don't really care if they're protected or not.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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