Digital Millennium Copyright Act Protects Google from Viacom Again

 

Viacom and Google face off in court for second time; photo credit: MKHyde, May 2013

Viacom and Google face off in court for second time; photo credit: MKHyde, May 2013

A case that has been ongoing on and off for three years between media giants Viacom Inc and Google Inc has been dismissed for a second time by a federal judge.  The specifics of this case revolve around Viacom claiming damage from Google for the alleged unauthorized posting of clips from a variety of television shows, which were uploaded on the internet via YouTube.  Google purchased YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion with hopes of “brushing aside copyright concerns to seize a starring role in the online video revolution.”

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.  Ultimately, this corporation strives to provide the best user experience imaginable.  These two companies have similar strategies and both wish to be the best, given their respective, overall objectives.

YouTube is popular form of media in the world today; photo credit MKHyde, May 2013

YouTube is popular form of media in the world today; photo credit MKHyde, May 2013

Viacom is a leading global entertainment content company who has multiple networks such as MTV, VH1, Nick at Nite, and Comedy Central as a part of their brand.  They also have more than 160 networks and varieties of other interactive content available to the masses.  Viacom prides itself on diversity and strives for their audience to have a wide range of options when it comes to choosing them as their source for movies and television productions.

 

Viacom is the media giant behind networks such as MTV, VH1 and numerous others; photo credit: MKHyde, May 2013

Viacom is the media giant behind networks such as MTV, VH1 and numerous others; photo credit: MKHyde, May 2013

Per the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) has two main sections that have been a source of particular controversy since their inception in 2000.  One is the “safe harbor” area.  This section “protects service providers who meet certain conditions from monetary damages for the infringing activities of their users and other third parties on the net.”  In this article, U.S District Judge Louis Stanton of Manhattan found that Google and YouTube were protected from Viacom’s claims because of the “safe harbor” provisions through the “DMCA”.

One Marketing graduate, Ricardo Kendrick, has been an avid user of YouTube for several years and has seen his share of what he would label as “manipulated content.”  Kendrick states, “I support Google because I believe that being too hard on copyright policies concerning digital content, can inhibit people’s creativity and cause people not to want to be as supportive of these companies like Viacom.”  Kendrick explains his reasoning further by saying, “A lot of YouTube videos are definitely creative endeavors and people wanting to express themselves in new ways.  I believe that companies like Viacom, even though they have good intentions on not wanting people to destroy or manipulate the original creative work, like a video when someone adds lyrics to it, should also understand that people do want to express themselves creatively.  I think it’s good to see variety in the different ways people can express things through their work.”