Google, Viacom Settle Billion Dollar YouTube Battle

After seven long years, Google and Viacom are burying the digital hatchet. The companies on Tuesday jointly announced a resolution of the Viacom vs. YouTube copyright litigation. And, it appears that no money is changing hands.

Financial terms of the landmark copyright suit were not disclosed, however CNN cited EUa person with direct knowledge of the termsEU as saying neither company would pay any money to the other. Oral arguments on the long-drawn-out case were set for Monday.

Viacom filed a $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube and some other digital properties in 2007. Specifically, the media giant charged the video-sharing service with illegally broadcasting 79,000 copyrighted videos on its viral platform between 2005 and 2008. Some of the clips came from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart as well as South Park.

EUGoogle and Viacom today jointly announced the resolution of the Viacom vs. YouTube copyright litigation,EU the companies said in a statement. EUThis settlement reflects the growing collaborative dialogue between our two companies on important opportunities, and we look forward to working more closely together.EU

If You CanEUt Beat EUEm

We caught up with Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, to get his take on the settlement. Sterling, who used to practice law, told us itEUs an example of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

EUViacom's copyright case was looking increasingly like a loser after several interim defeats. Beyond this, it makes much more sense for Viacom to leverage YouTube to expose its programming and films,EU Sterling said. "While the settlement terms weren't released I would imagine that Google gave the company some perks and advantages -- read: visibility -- that we'll see in the coming months.EU

Legal Perspectives

The case was a significant test for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and specifically the EUsafe harborEU provision. The safe harbor provision protects companies...

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