Judge rules in favor of YouTube over Viacom

Viacom's copyright suit against Google has been dismissed

Viacom's US$1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit against Google's video-sharing site YouTube has been dismissed by the court, ending for now an acrimonious legal battle between the companies that has been going on for more than three years.

On Wednesday, Judge Louis L. Stanton, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, granted Google's motion for summary judgment.

"This is an important victory not just for us, but also for the billions of people around the world who use the web to communicate and share experiences with each other. We're excited about this decision and look forward to renewing our focus on supporting the incredible variety of ideas and expression that billions of people post and watch on YouTube every day around the world," wrote Kent Walker, Google vice president and general counsel, in an official blog post.

Viacom didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Viacom hit Google in March 2007 with a $1 billion lawsuit over what it described as widespread and willful infringement of Viacom's movies, TV shows and other content on YouTube.

Google, which had bought YouTube in October 2006 for $1.65 billion, defended itself by arguing that YouTube complies with the requirements in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to remove infringing material upon owners' requests.

(More to come.)

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