Small victory for Google in YouTube class action

« NY Post defeats gender-bending libel claim | Main | Lindsay Lohan sprayed with litigation »

Small victory for Google in YouTube class action

Tue Jul 07, 2009 @ 04:15PM PST

By Eriq Gardner


Youtube News on the YouTube litigation front has been about as slow as watching a streamed video on a dial-up modem, but we've finally got some action in the high-stakes class action lawsuit against the company.

U.S. District Court Judge Louis Stanton has ruled that owners of foreign videos not registered with the U.S. Copyright office can't sue for damages. The judge also ruled that the plaintiffs can't seek punitive damages.

Call it a small victory for Google, owner of the perennially money-losing yet immensely popular YouTube. 

The plaintiffs put together an impressive roster of class members, including the British soccer league, the French tennis league, publishers from around the globe and many other entities. Today's ruling may trim that list, although the judge left open the possibility that some plaintiffs could claim infringement on live broadcast footage of sports events.

Google will be happy to escape the possibility of paying punitive damages, although as we've seen in recent cases, statutory damages on copyright infringement can still carry a shockingly large price tag.

This decision shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. The same judge last year ruled in a separate lawsuit that Viacom couldn't seek punitive damages in its own massive case against YouTube.

The core issue in this case still remains to be tested—whether YouTube has safe-harbor from copyright infringement liability if it dutifully responds to a copyright owner's takedown requests.

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451d69069e2011571d4eedd970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Small victory for Google in YouTube class action :


The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

The Hollywood Reporter
Contact: Patrice Atiee at 323.525.2014 or patrice.atiee@thr.com


The Hollywood Reporter is Your Complete Film Resource

The columnists and bloggers who write for The Hollywood Reporter have their collective finger on the pulse of the boxoffice. Martin Grove and the other THR columnists deliver their thoughts on the film industry in an uncompromised style. Subscribe to THR today and get the latest views from these film experts and get the latest movie reviews as well.