(CN) – A federal judge in Manhattan on Wednesday ruled in favor of Google in its copyright dispute with media giant Viacom over the use of videos on YouTube. U.S. District Judge Louis L. Stanton granted summary judgment to Google, which bought YouTube in 2006, finding that the search engine was protected because it didn’t have “actual knowledge” of infringements, and it removed content when it did.
Viacom International claimed that “tens of thousands of videos on YouTube, resulting in hundreds of millions of views, were taken unlawfully from Viacom’s copyrighted works without authorization,” the ruling states.
Viacom, along with Paramount Pictures, Country Music Television and Black Entertainment Television,argued that it was their material that boosted viewership and increased YouTube’s advertising dollars.
YouTube spawned the successful medium of video-sharing wbsites. It allows users to upload files for free, which are copied and formatted by YouTube’s computer systems made available to viewers.
Viacom argued that YouTube made no distinction between infringing and non-infringing content.
But the judge noted that Google and YouTube assigned an agent to remove content when it was ntified of copyrighted material being available on the site.
YouTube was “efficient” in abiding by provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Stanton wrote.
“When Viacom over a period of months accumulated some 100,000 videos and then sent one mass take-down notice on February 2, 2007, by the next business day YouTube had removed virtually of them.”