March 15, 2007

Earlier this week, Viacom International and a number of well-known television companies filed suit against YouTube and Google alleging "massive infringement" of copyright based on video clips hosted by YouTube. In the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the Plaintiffs’ seek a permanent injunction on future copyright infringement and at least $1B in damages. According to the lawsuit, the Plaintiffs’ allege that over 150,000 video clips on YouTube contain their copyrighted content, and that "YouTube has harnessed technology to willfully infringe copyrights on a huge scale, depriving writers, composers and performers of the rewards they are owed for effort and innovation." Regarding YouTube’s copyright takedown procedures, the Plaintiffs further note that "even if [they] send takedown notices for the video clips they have been able to identify, and even if YouTube responds to the notices by removing those videos, many more infringing videos from [a television series] will still be available for viewing on YouTube." YouTube currently takes a number of measures to curtail copyright infringement, including requiring all users submitting content to affirm, represent, and warrant that they own or have the necessary licenses to the content submitted and that YouTube is authorized by the users to use the content on its website. In addition, YouTube has also expressly provided a takedown procedure in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to allow content providers to request the removal of infringing content from the YouTube website.

Yahoo! News Article: LINK
Complaint (PDF Format): LINK
YouTube Website: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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