Viacom and YouTube have finally ended their seven-year copyright rift. The two companies jointly announced the end to their long-standing legal fight after they reached an agreement to settle the controversial case.
However, terms of the settlement deal were not disclosed. But this arrangement finally puts an end to a battle that has $1 billion at stake. This is good news for both parties as they could move on and focus their attention to doing more productive tasks.
In a joint statement released to the press, the two companies said the settlement reflects their growing collaborative dialogue. They even hinted that their talks might continue for possible significant opportunities. They even announced their intention to work more closely together.
Messy fight for copyright
This legal issue could be dated back to 2007. That time, Viacom filed a $1 billion legal complaint against the video-sharing site of Google. In its complaint, the media and content firm accused YouTube of posting copyrighted material.
As expected, YouTube defended itself by saying it was not liable because it has been complying with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). It claimed that it had issued necessary takedown notices.
In 2010, a court agreed to YouTube’s defense and ruled that the company was compliant with the law. Logically, Viacom appealed that ruling. In 2012, the Circuit Court decided that YouTube violated the law. The battle prompted for a re-opening of the case and extending it for two years more, until they reached a settlement agreement.
The root of the legal problem
So what caused the problem between the two? Viacom argued that YouTube should be responsible for all the copyrighted materials that its users are posting on the website. YouTube and similar sites are protected by DMCA especially if they swiftly remove offending and controversial content the moment it was reported.
In 2010, Google even accused Viacom of intentionally and secretly uploading its own content to YouTube at the same time that it publicly complains about its presence in the video-sharing site. Logically, Viacom dismissed such charges and in turn accused YouTube of observing a ‘willful blindness policy.’
Now, this battle has ended. Some observers even expect the companies to be cooperative of each other and to launch future projects together.