Viacom Formally Appeals YouTube Decision


Viacom on Wednesday officially filed a notice that it will appeal a federal judge's June decision that Google and YouTube are protected from the media company's copyright-infringement claims by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Viacom will appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

In the June ruling, Judge Louis Stanton of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted Google's request for a summary judgment that it qualifies for DMCA protection, saying that YouTube removed illegal content promptly as required by federal copyright law.

Viacom, whose properties include MTV, Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures, filed suit against YouTube and Google in 2007 alleging they engaged in deliberate copyright infringement designed to boost traffic to YouTube and was seeking more than $1 billion in damages.

The DMCA, enacted in 1998, grants online service providers immunity from copyright liability if they remove unauthorized content after they receive a "takedown" notice from the copyright holder.

Viacom previously said it intended to appeal Judge Stanton's decision. "This case has always been about whether intentional theft of copyrighted works is permitted under existing law and we always knew that the critical underlying issue would need to be addressed by courts at the appellate levels," Viacom general counsel Michael Fricklas said in a June 23 statement.

The actual appeal briefs outlining Viacom's arguments will be filed in a few weeks, according to spokesman Jeremy Zweig.