YouTube has won the lawsuit filed against it by Viacom, over copyright infringement. That said, Viacom has promised to appeal.
YouTube had used the "safe harbor" provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) as its defense, and U.S. District Court Judge Louis Stanton agreed. Those provisions protect sites and ISPs against any copyright infringement by their end users.
Meanwhile, Viacom contended that copyright-infringing content was so abundant on YouTube, that suggesting that YouTube didn't know they existed on the site was ludicrous. Stanton disagreed, nothing that once notified of infringement, YouTube removed such clips, and that was all that was required to qualify for DMCA "safe harbor" protection. Stanton wrote, in his judgment
"If a service provider knows of specific instances of infringement, the provider must promptly remove the infringing material. If not, the burden is on the owner to identify the infringement. General knowledge that infringement is 'ubiquitous' does not impose a duty on the service provider to monitor or search its service for infringements."
In its own statement, Viacom vowed to "fight on."
We believe that this ruling by the lower court is fundamentally flawed and contrary to the language of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the intent of Congress, and the views of the Supreme Court as expressed in its most recent decisions. We intend to seek to have these issues before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as soon as possible. After years of delay, this decision gives us the opportunity to have the Appellate Court address these critical issues on an accelerated basis. We look forward to the next stage of the process.
For now, it's over. Whether or not Viacom actually appeals, remains to be seen.