The judge granted Google's motion for summary judgment based on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act safe harbor provisions.
Viacom-Google summary judgement opinion Cutting through the legalese, Google followed the letter of the DMCA. It provided a platform on which users could post and access material, and did not monitor the content, but accepted infringement complaints and removed material that infringed copyright.
Viacom wanted to convince the court that Google should have known and liked to make advertising money off its video clips that appeared on YouTube -- which was nothing compared to the enormous volume uploaded every day. It wanted the court to treat Google differently than the law specified, and so was disappointed.
Viacom didn't use common sense and didn't think through how strongly the law stood on Google's side. This was a classic case of a corporate pissing match. Had Viacom executives really been interested in the welfare of the company, they'd have realized that trying to stop out all cases of infringement would be impossible. Instead of doing the impossible, they would have focused on the possible -- setting up their own clips on YouTube, sharing ad revenue with the large audiences that Google could provide, and then using links to bring consumers to Viacom's own site for complete programs and accompanying advertising. They could have turned the situation into a business triumph. Only, winning the ego game was more important, and, as a result, Viacom lost it all.
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