Google wins copyright dispute
SAN FRANCISCO – A federal judge handed Google Inc. a major victory Wednesday by rebuffing media company Viacom Inc.’s attempt to collect more than $1 billion in damages for the alleged copyright abuses of Google’s popular YouTube service.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton in New York embraces Google’s interpretation of a 12-year-old law that shields Internet services from claims of copyright infringement as long as they promptly remove illegal content when notified of a violation.
That so-called “safe harbor” helped persuade Google to buy YouTube for $1.76 billion in 2006, even though some of the Internet search leader’s own executives had earlier branded the video-sharing service as “a ‘rogue enabler’ of content theft,” according to documents unearthed in the copyright infringement case.
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