Meg James of the L.A. Times reports: A 72-page appeal filed by Viacom on Friday, where YouTube is accused of aggressively operating outside the law in an effort to build traffic quickly so they could sell the site for a huge sum. Google Inc. later bought YouTube in October 2006 for $1.65 billion.
Media giant Viacom Inc. has challenged a June 2010 ruling that YouTube did not violate federal copyright laws when it allowed users to upload thousands of pirated clips in order to increase website traffic.
This is a significant case and media industry executives view Viacom’s copyright infringement lawsuit, filed three years ago, as an important case that could establish ground rules to protect the digital distribution of copyrighted material.
Viacom, which owns Paramount Pictures and popular cable TV channels including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, worries that its businesses would suffer if internet sites have little incentive to safeguard against the use of other companies’ copyrighted content.Viacom maintained that, if allowed to stand, the district court ruling would “severely impair, if not completely destroy, the value of many copyrighted creations.”
The media company has demanded more than $1 billion in damages. But U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton of the Southern District of New York ruled against Viacom in June, determining that YouTube operated within a “safe harbor” provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act because it promptly removed pirated videos after being notified of a violation.
At the time, Internet advocates hailed Stanton’s ruling as an affirmation of free expression and the growth of the internet. Viacom wanted to enforce a system in which YouTube and other video websites would have to determine who owned the rights to material before it was posted.
Viacom believes Stanton misinterpreted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and it provided internal YouTube e-mails to illustrate that YouTube’s founders were aware of the rampant piracy. The media company alleged that YouTube allowed clips to be posted from “The Daily Show,” “MTV Cribs,” “South Park” and other professionally produced shows to help build interest in the site.
What kind of web traffic ramifications do you think this will have on your business or blogging activity, leave me a comment and let me know?
From the Web Traffic Frontier,
The Web Traffic Reporter
Mark Edward Brown