Google and Viacom Won’t Be Allowed to Bury the Hatchet

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Viacom (NASDAQ:VIAB) may have buried their differences by inking a content deal between YouTube and Paramount Pictures, but a court will not let the past be forgotten.

On Thursday, the Court of Appeals in Manhattan reversed a lower court’s decision to throw out the case before trial. The higher court did not agree with the lower court’s contention that YouTube was protected because it removed infringing videos when notified.

“A reasonable jury could find that YouTube had actual knowledge or awareness of specific infringing activity on its website,” the panel said on Thursday.

Viacom had filed the $1 billion lawsuit against Google in 2007, alleging that YouTube users were illegally uploading videos of Viacom’s television programs and movies. In 2010, a district judge ruled that YouTube was protected from liability by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Viacom appealed, saying YouTube was aware of the copyright violation when it displayed the videos.

Earlier this week, Viacom’s Paramount Pictures announced it would begin providing YouTube and Google Play with roughly 500 titles for online streaming.

Google shares fell 0.45 percent to $632.32 on Thursday afternoon, while Viacom shares rose 1.85 percent to $47.26.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aabha Rathee at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at