Fresh details have come to light in the Google vs. Viacom lawsuit, the biggest lawsuit ever filed — one billion dollars. That's a lot of zeroes. Viacom announced intentions on Wednesday in a federal court in Manhattan to appeal the copyright ruling won by YouTube. Viacom had sued YouTube over copyright infringement and sought over $1 billion in damages.
Jump in the Way Back Machine and go all the way back to June, when U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton ruled that YouTube had not violated copyright laws because it had removed Viacom videos when asked by the copyright holder. Viacom and their overlord boss Sumner Redstone were most unhappy.
Viacom had claimed tens of thousands of YouTube videos on Google's video service YouTube were copyrighted works and that YouTube did little to stop the flow of video uploads.
Viacom filed a claim of intent to appeal after the final ruling on Wednesday, and was completely expected to do so.
This will bring the Digital Millenium Copyright Act thing to full boil as the U.S. Court of Appeals will have to decide how and when copyrighted media gets played and paid for on the web.
One thing's for sure ... both Congress and the Supreme Court seem to not want to get involved until they have to.
On one side, you've got Google's YouTube, playing the videos, raising the profile of all the bands and TV shows involved while playing other people's media. On the other side, you've got Sumner Redstone and the Viacom part of his empire, as well as ownership of a lot of those videos. The cage match begins.
Questions that come to mind: what about all of the individual web sites and blogs that embedded YouTube videos in their site? Are they liable for copyright infringement or royalties, or is that YouTube's bad? Also, who's responsible on the YouTube side, the uploader or YouTube? That sounds like the P2P thing all over again, when both the P2P peeps and the uploaders were both pursued by the copyright holders from the RIAA. Plus, now there's a legal precedent, or at least a practiced negotiation history to look back at in this time around.