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Viacom To Appeal YouTube Copyright Ruling

Viacom has officially notified a federal court that it will appeal a judge's ruling that found Google-owned YouTube had taken sufficient steps to deal with copyright violations on the online video-sharing service.

The entertainment conglomerate filed the notice of appeal Wednesday in New York. The action was expected, given that Viacom said it would appeal U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton's ruling after it was handed down in June.

Viacom filed its intentions with the US. Court of Appeals a day after Stanton's ruling was finalized. The company did not present its arguments in the notice. A full appellate brief is expected in the fall.

Viacom filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Google and YouTube in 2007, claiming the companies knowingly allowed copyrighted content to persist on YouTube as a means of ensuring the site's popularity.

However, Stanton disagreed, noting that YouTube takes down infringing content as soon as copyright owners notify the site. Legal experts say the ruling essentially endorsed industry-standard takedown practices, which fulfill requirements under the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Following the ruling, Google characterized Stanton's decision as "an important victory not just for us, but also for the billions of people around the world who use the web to communicate and share experiences with each other."

Other Internet companies stepped up to defend Google in court briefs filed before Stanton's decision. EBay, Facebook, Yahoo and IAC argued that if Google lost, then other Internet companies would face lawsuits that could deter innovation on the web.

Legal experts have said Viacom faces an uphill battle in trying to convince an appellate court to overturn the original decision. The appellate process is likely to take years.


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