Copyright owners denied class status in YouTube suit

Each copyright claim presents particular factual issues of copyright ownership, infringement, fair use, and damages, the Judge ruled

A federal court in New York has denied class certification to copyright owners in an infringement lawsuit against YouTube over unauthorized hosting of content, stating that copyright claims have only superficial similarities.

Judge Louis L. Stanton of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York had earlier this year thrown out a copyright infringement complaint by Viacom International and others against YouTube, stating that the Google unit was protected under the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which protects service providers from copyright infringement claims if they follow certain notice and take down procedures.

Viacom filed the lawsuit against YouTube in March 2007, and accused YouTube of "brazen" copyright infringement by allowing users to upload more than 150,000 clips of Viacom's programming. Judge Stanton ruled earlier this year that Viacom did not have the kind of "evidence that would allow a clip-by-clip assessment of actual knowledge" by YouTube.

Generally speaking, copyright claims are poor candidates for class-action treatment, the Judge wrote in his ruling on Wednesday. "Each claim presents particular factual issues of copyright ownership, infringement, fair use, and damages, among others," he added.

"Plaintiffs offer no explanation of how the worldwide members of this proposed class are to be identified, how they are to prove copyright ownership by themselves or by their authorized agent, or how they will establish that defendants became aware of the specific video clips which allegedly infringed each of the potentially tens of thousands of musical compositions incorporated into specific videos," Judge Stanton wrote in his order.

The suit was filed in 2007 by The Football Association Premier League and some music publishers and ran in parallel with the Viacom suit.

Citing the Viacom case, the Judge said that YouTube does not generate infringing material, and unless an exception applies, the DMCA requires that YouTube have legal knowledge or awareness of the specific infringement to be liable for it.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesViacomGoogleintellectual propertycopyrightlegalinternetyoutube

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?