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Viacom Int'l, Inc. v. YouTube

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
676 F.3d 19 (2012)



YouTube (defendant) was a website that allowed users to upload and view videos for free. In order to upload a video, a user was required to accept YouTube’s terms and conditions, which stated, among other things, that any content the user uploads could not be infringing. Viacom International, Inc., et al. (plaintiffs) were copyright owners whose content was infringed upon on YouTube’s website. The plaintiffs brought suit against YouTube for direct and secondary copyright infringement. The plaintiffs presented evidence of emails and a report from the YouTube creators referencing well-known infringing content on the YouTube website. The district court granted YouTube summary judgment under a safe harbor provision in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Specifically, the district court held that YouTube did not have actual knowledge or awareness of specific infringing activity as required by 17 U.S.C. § 512(c)(1)(A) and that such knowledge was necessary for an internet service provider (ISP) to have the right and ability to control such activity under 17 U.S.C. § 512(c)(1)(B). The plaintiffs appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Carbranes, J.)

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