Viacom Checked In Google, YouTube Lawsuit

Punitive damages disallowed in case

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Whatever Viacom might win in its court battle against YouTube and Google over alleged copyright infringing content, it won’t include punitive damages.

The billion-dollar figure cited by Viacom as what copyright infringement cost the company may be a big number, nine zeroes lined up in an orderly fashion behind a solitary one. Potential to take the damages into loftier heights with additional punitive damages existed before the presiding judge took those off the table.

A post at Silicon Alley Insider noted the decision by Judge Louis Stanton in US District Court for the Southern District of New York:

Common-law punitive damages cannot be recovered under the Copyright Act. Plaintiffs’ motion for leave to amend the complaint to assert a punitive damages claim is denied.

Viacom wanted to update their case to allow it to collect those extra punitive damages, should a decision be made in Viacom’s favor. Judge Stanton cited several cases, including Sony Corp. of America v Universal City Studios, in noting “remedies for infringement ‘are only those prescribed by Congress.'”

Sorry Viacom, but you’re only entitled to statutory relief, unless you and Google manage to work out a settlement first.

Viacom Checked In Google, YouTube Lawsuit
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