Google's YouTube isn't eligible for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's safe harbor provisions because its founders deliberately built the business on pirated content, according to media behemoth Viacom's lawyers in an appeal of a June district court ruling against its favor.
The appeal cites internal e-mail correspondence at YouTube that said that if copyrighted content were removed from the site, its audience would be slashed to a fifth of what it would otherwise enjoy.
A federal district court in New York this June said that a 1998 digital copyright law shields YouTube from any liabilities that might result from infringing activities by third-parties on its platform.
Federal District Court Judge Louis Stanton sided with Google, and agreed with its argument that YouTube is not liable either directly or indirectly because it’s protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s safe harbor provision.
The provision states that a service provider isn’t liable if it has no knowledge of the infringements occurring on its system, and additionally that it is shielded from liability once it acts quickly to remove the infringing material when it is aware of it.