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The Viacom-YouTube Decision: Why It Was Wrong

June 28, 2010

Add our voice to those who disagree with a recent summary judgment ruling in the court case between Viacom and YouTube.   

We believe that the district court’s dangerously expansive reading of the liability immunity provisions of the DMCA upsets the careful balance struck within the law and is bad public policy.  It will actually discourage service providers from taking steps to minimize the illegal exchange of copyrighted works on their sites.  As the White House recently noted in its strategic plan to combat intellectual property theft (http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/06/22/releasing-joint-strategic-plan-combat-intellectual-property-theft) it is essential for service providers and intermediaries generally to work collaboratively with content owners to seek practical and efficient solutions to address infringement.  We need businesses to be more proactive in addressing infringement, not less.  We expect the Court of Appeals will better understand the balance Congress struck when it enacted the DMCA.

Cary Sherman