The importance of the Veoh decision

Needless to say, Google's lawyers are happy. They now have a precedent to hit Viacom over the head with.

Veoh logo
Maybe it was because the plaintiff was a pornographer.

But magistrate Harold Lloyd in San Jose has given open content a major victory, ruling that Veoh did not infringe copyright when users uploaded licensed porn to it, and that claimants need to prove willful infringement to prevail in a video piracy case.

The case involved the "safe harbor" provisions of the DMCA, which Lloyd ruled Veoh was entitled to use because it had a strong anti-piracy policy and used it, taking down videos once claims were proven against them.

Here's the money quote:

The court does not find that the DMCA was intended to have Veoh shoulder the entire burden of policing third party copyrights on its website (at the cost of losing business if it cannot). Rather, the issue is whether Veoh takes appropriate steps to deal with copyright infringement that takes place.

Needless to say, Google's lawyers are happy. They now have a precedent to hit Viacom over the head with.

Is an end to the copyright wars finally in sight? It could be.

With music companies now looking to take down their encryption walls because they only benefitted Apple, and with a well-reasoned decision for video safe harbor in hand, we might have digital peace in our time.

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