Google, Viacom Settle YouTube Copyright Lawsuit

Google has settled a landmark copyright lawsuit in which Viacom accused the Internet search company of posting its programs on the YouTube video service without permission.

"This settlement reflects the growing collaborative dialogue between our two companies on important opportunities, and we look forward to working more closely together," the companies said in a joint statement. Terms were not disclosed.

The settlement was announced 11 months after U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton in Manhattan rejected Viacom's damages claims over Google's alleged posting of clips from "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," "South Park," "SpongeBob SquarePants" and other programs that viewers had uploaded to YouTube.

Viacom, a global mass media company, had been appealing that decision to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.

Oral argument had been scheduled for March 24, according to court records.

Viacom had originally filed a $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube and others in 2007, accusing YouTube of broadcasting 79,000 copyrighted videos on its website between 2005-2008.

The case tested the reach of the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a 1998 law that made it illegal to produce technology to circumvent anti-piracy measures, but limited liability of online service providers for copyright infringement by users.

In ruling against Viacom for the second time in three years, Stanton had concluded in his April 2013 decision that Google and YouTube had been protected from Viacom's copyright claims by "safe harbor" provisions in the law.

A lawyer for Google declined to comment. Lawyers for Viacom did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

VOA News / Mar. 19, 2014 08:09 KST