Clips from the Viacom portfolio that includes MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon had been posted on YouTube by viewers. But Viacom itself was not able to offer details of specific infringements.
Google claimed safe harbor in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, introduced to provide a balance between free expression by the public and the rights of copyright holders.
“The court today reaffirmed an established judicial consensus that the DMCA protects web platforms like YouTube that work with rightsholders and take appropriate steps to remove user-generated content that rightsholders notify them is infringing,” said Kent Walker, senior vice president & general counsel, Google.
Viacom immediately announced plans to appeal, claiming the latest ruling disregarded the rights of creative artists. “We continue to believe that a jury should weigh the facts of this case and the overwhelming evidence that YouTube willfully infringed on our rights, and we intend to appeal the decision,” the company said in a statement.
Viacom initially made a filing for a $1 billion lawsuit against a variety of providers, including YouTube, in 2007.