Just what amounts to knowledge in the online environment? Viacom might provide some guidance?
By J. DeVoy
The Second Circuit released its opinion in Viacom v. YouTube today, partially vacating the Southern District of New York’s order granting summary judgment in favor of the online video service. Ultimately, the case is to be remanded to the district court for fact-finding on whether YouTube had knowledge of infringement, had the right and ability to control infringing content, and YouTube’s willful blindness.
Almost as soon as the Court starts writing, it delivers the gut punch:
Although the District Court correctly held that the § 512(c) safe harbor requires knowledge or awareness of specific infringing activity, we vacate the order granting summary judgment because a reasonable jury could find that YouTube had actual knowledge or awareness of specific infringing activity on its website. We further hold that the District Court erred by interpreting the “right and ability to control” infringing activity to require “item-specific” knowledge. (Opinion
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