Google just announced that a U.S. district court has granted the company's motion for summary judgment in Viacom's $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube. The court argued that YouTube is protected by the so-called "safe harbor" provision. Viacom first sued Google in 2007 and the court case continued to simmer ever since. Viacom accused YouTube of deliberately withholding filtering technologies and knowingly infringing on the company's copyright.

Today's judgment once again reaffirms the importance of the DMCA's safe harbor provision, which protects Google and other media companies from lawsuits that are based on content that their users upload to their services. According to the DMCA, these companies are protected, as long as they delete infringing copyrighted material if they receive a notification from the copyright holder.

Viacom Plans to Appeal

According to CNET, Viacom intents to appeal this judgement as soon as possible:

"We believe that this ruling by the lower court is fundamentally flawed and contrary to the language of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The intent of Congress, and the views of the Supreme Court as expressed in its most recent decisions. We intend to seek to have these issues before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as soon as possible.

Viacom Didn't Help Its Own Case

It is worth noting that - in the end - Viacom probably did not help its own case by secretly uploading its own videos to YouTube while still complaining about the face that YouTube hosted these videos. Often, Viacom even "roughed up" these videos to make them look stolen, which YouTube's chief counsel Zahavah Levine noted earlier this year.