updated 09:41 am EDT, Tue March 18, 2014
Endless morass of appeals and hearings ended by settlement
Google today announced that it has settled its long-running copyright litigation over videos hosted on YouTube. The nearly seven-year old lawsuit inspired changes on the service such as the ContentID system, and other initiatives designed to easily identify when videos are being uploaded without permission of the content owner. Viacom had asserted in an appeal of a verdict indemnifying Google from any wrongdoing that YouTube was intentionally violating copyright by not taking action against every copyright violation it later found.
The company went so far as to claim YouTube was knowingly profiting from piracy. Judge Louis Stanton ruled in the appeal hearing that YouTube either wasn't aware of violations when they happened or wasn't properly notified by Viacom.
Following the April 2013 appeal rebuttal, YouTube issued a statement saying that the court "correctly rejected Viacom's lawsuit against YouTube, reaffirming that Congress got it right when it comes to copyright on the Internet. This is a win not just for YouTube, but for people everywhere who depend on the Internet to exchange ideas and information."
Not much is known about the settlement ending the litigation itself. In a statement, the pair claimed that "Google and Viacom today jointly announced the resolution of the Viacom vs. YouTube copyright litigation. This settlement reflects the growing collaborative dialogue between our two companies on important opportunities, and we look forward to working more closely together."