Thursday, November 3, 2011

YouTube Case Heard By Second Circuit

Last month, the Second Circuit heard arguments in the Viacom v. YouTube appeal.

Summary of the district court decision: Part I, Part II, Part III

While Viacom claimed that YouTube was well aware of infringing materials being posted and that the Court should not allow rampant infringement, YouTube countered that there were no instances where the infringing works were not taken down following notice from the owner. During the arguments,
YouTube touted its ability to remove the infringing works within hours of the notice of infringement and have developed software to detect copyrighted works.

One of the problems expressed by the panel was how to calculate damages. One judge expressed that he believed that Viacom could be looking for some type of license arrangement. However, by taking the case this far, it would seem that Viacom is interested in more than a licensing arrangement. YouTube has arrangements with other companies. Viacom included several references and comparisons to Grokster.

Ultimately, the question about who should bear the burdens regarding copyright infringement will need to be answered. YouTube claims they need notice to determine whether something that is posted on YouTube is infringing the work of another.

It will likely be several months before a decision is reached.

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