Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Non-US copyrights excluded from YouTube claim

US District Judge Louis Stanton, who is overseeing a copyright class action against YouTube, has dismissed part of the claim against the video-sharing site by excluding claims from owners of non-US (foreign) copyrighted works saying that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 "bars statutory damages for all foreign and domestic works not timely registered" with the US Copyright Office. The ruling will come as a disappointment to non-UK owners including England's Premier League for football (soccer) and a number of music publishers. Judge Stanton said the plaintiffs couldn't seek punitive damages. However, the judge did not rule out claims from owners of copyrights in live broadcasters and the action led by the US National Music Publishers Association and others, along with Viacom's 2007 claim for infringement, will continue against YouTube and owners Google. Louis Solomon, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, was quoted as saying he was pleased with the ruling in respect of live broadcasters, a large portion of the class, adding "we now have clarity in how we have to go prove damages for the balance of the class". Google has consistently maintained the infringement claims are without merit.

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