Court Ruling In Veoh Case Could Be A Big Boost To YouTube Over Viacom: “A judge has ruled that online video hosting site Veoh is not guilty of copyright infringement for videos uploaded by its users. The judge made the proper ruling here, noting that the DMCA’s safe harbors protect Veoh. The lawsuit was brought by adult video entertainment firm Io, who was upset that Veoh’s users kept uploading clips from its films. As the judge properly noted, Veoh follows all the rules necessary under the DMCA to avoid liability (this doesn’t mean that the individuals doing the uploading aren’t liable, however).
While this may seem like a small case, it is quite similar to Viacom’s infamous lawsuit against YouTube/Google. Considering that YouTube follows the DMCA’s rules in a similar manner to Veoh, this ruling suggests that YouTube is also protected by the DMCA safe harbors, just as many had stated from the beginning. The key issues raised by Io (and also raised by Viacom) is that these sites lose their DMCA safe harbors because they take action on the content, often transcoding the content from one format into flash. However, the judge in the Veoh case trashed that argument pretty easily:
Here, Veoh has simply established a system whereby software automatically processes user-submitted content and recasts it in a format that is readily accessible to its users. Veoh preselects the software parameters for the process from a range of default values set by the third party software… But Veoh does not itself actively participate or supervise the uploading of files. Nor does it preview or select the files before the upload is completed. Instead, video files are uploaded through an automated process which is initiated entirely at the volition of Veoh’s users
The folks over at Google are, understandably, pretty happy about this ruling, which confirms their position that YouTube is protected: ‘It is great to see the Court confirm that the DMCA protects services like YouTube that follow the law and respect copyrights.’