An influential New York appeals court has resurrected an epic copyright case over whether Google should be liable for movies and tv shows uploaded to YouTube during the video-sharing site’s early days.
A lower court judge had thrown out the case in 2010 on the grounds that Google was protected by a “safe harbor” law that protects hosting sites from being responsible for infringing content uploaded by third parties.
Studios led by Viacom argue that YouTube and other such rights forfeited that safe harbor protection because they ignored red flags that should have warned them about infringing content.
The YouTube videos are also the subject of a parallel class action suit led by the English Premier League.
Viacom claims it is owed $1 billion dollars as a result of Google showing over 79,000 clips of shows like “John Stewart” and “South Park.”
The appeals court ruling means that the case will go back to Manhattan District Court where a judge will now have to consider the red flag issue in detail.
This means that it could be years before the case is resolved.