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Viacom v YouTube Summary Judgment

Viacom v YouTube Summary Judgment

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Published by Eric Goldman
YouTube wins SJ on 512 defense
YouTube wins SJ on 512 defense

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Published by: Eric Goldman on Jun 23, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/17/2012

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTSOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK----------------------------------------XVIACOM INTERNATIONAL INC., COMEDYPARTNERS, COUNTRY MUSIC TELEVISION,INC., PARAMOUNT PICTURES CORPORATION,and BLACK ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION LLC,Plaintiffs, 07 Civ. 2103 (LLS)-against-YOUTUBE, INC., YOUTUBE, LLC, andGOOGLE, INC.,Defendants,----------------------------------------X
OPINION AND ORDER 
 THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION PREMIERLEAGUE LIMITED, et al., onbehalf of themselves and allothers similarly situated,Plaintiffs,-against-07 Civ. 3582 (LLS)YOUTUBE, INC., YOUTUBE, LLC, andGOOGLE, INC.,Defendants.----------------------------------------XDefendants move for summary judgment that they areentitled to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (“DMCA”), 17U.S.C. § 512(c), “safe harbor” protection against all ofplaintiffs’ direct and secondary infringement claims, includingclaims for “inducement” contributory liability, because they hadinsufficient notice, under the DMCA, of the particularinfringements in suit.
 
 
- 2 -Plaintiffs cross-move for partial summary judgmentthat defendants are not protected by the statutory “safe harbor”provision, but “are liable for the intentional infringement ofthousands of Viacom’s copyrighted works, . . . for the vicariousinfringement of those works, and for the direct infringement ofthose works . . . because: (1) Defendants had ‘actualknowledge’ and were ‘aware of facts and circumstances from whichinfringing activity [was] apparent,’ but failed to ‘act[]expeditiously’ to stop it; (2) Defendants ‘receive[d] afinancial benefit directly attributable to the infringingactivity’ and ‘had the right and ability to control suchactivity;’ and (3) Defendants’ infringement does not resultsolely from providing ‘storage at the direction of a user’ orany other Internet function specified in section 512.” (See theparties’ Notices of Motion).Resolution of the key legal issue presented on theparties’ cross-motions requires examination of the DMCA’s “safeharbor” provisions, 17 U.S.C. § 512(c), (m) and (n) which state:
(c)
 
Information residing on systems or networks atdirection of users.— (1) In general.— 
A service provider shall not beliable for monetary relief, or, except as provided insubsection (j), for injunctive or other equitablerelief, for infringement of copyright by reason of thestorage at the direction of a user of material thatresides on a system or network controlled or operatedby or for the service provider, if the serviceprovider—
 
 
- 3 - 
(A)(i)
does not have actual knowledge that thematerial or an activity using the material on thesystem or network is infringing;
(ii)
in the absence of such actual knowledge,is not aware of facts or circumstances from whichinfringing activity is apparent; or
(iii)
upon obtaining such knowledge orawareness, acts expeditiously to remove, ordisable access to, the material;
(B)
does not receive a financial benefitdirectly attributable to the infringing activity,in a case in which the service provider has theright and ability to control such activity; and
(C)
upon notification of claimed infringementas described in paragraph (3), respondsexpeditiously to remove, or disable access to,the material that is claimed to be infringing orto be the subject of infringing activity.
(2) Designated agent.
—The limitations on liabilityestablished in this subsection apply to a serviceprovider only if the service provider has designatedan agent to receive notifications of claimedinfringement described in paragraph (3), by makingavailable through its service, including on itswebsite in a location accessible to the public, and byproviding to the Copyright Office, substantially thefollowing information:
(A)
the name, address, phone number, andelectronic mail address of the agent.
(B)
 
Other contact information which theRegister of Copyrights may deemappropriate.The Register of Copyrights shall maintain a currentdirectory of agents available to the public forinspection, including through the Internet, in bothelectronic and hard copy formats, and may requirepayment of a fee by service providers to cover thecosts of maintaining the directory.

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