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YouTube Loses Appeal in Reporter’s Copyright Case

(CN) - The 9th Circuit affirmed dismissal of an award-winning helicopter journalist's copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube, after the broadcast reporter asked the district court to toss his case, so he could join a New York class action against the popular video-sharing service.

Tur, who created the Los Angeles News Service and shot live video coverage of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, persuaded U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper to grant his motion for dismissal.

YouTube appealed both the dismissal order and the court's denial of summary judgment. YouTube claimed it was entitled to summary judgment based on the safe-harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

But the San Francisco-based federal appeals court found YouTube's appeal moot, because the underlying case has been dismissed.

The appeals court rejected YouTube's assertion that, because reversing the denial of summary judgment would prevent Tur from joining the New York litigation, the California case can't be moot.

"It is circular to argue that a case is live because resolving it may produce a preclusive effect, because it may produce such a preclusive effect only if it is live," the court reasoned.

The judges dismissed YouTube's appeal and filed a memorandum disposition with the opinion, in which it denied YouTube attorney fees.

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