Another battle in the war between file-sharing websites and the the music and film studios. Veoh Networks, owner and operator of the ‘Veoh’ media-hosting website, has won its latest battle against Universal Music Group. Universal had filed suit for copyright infringement claiming that the Veoh website – on which users can post video and music clips – contained infringing material, and that Veoh had stored the infringing clips. Veoh denied the claims arguing that it had complied with the requirements for ‘safe harbor’ protection given to internet providers and websites under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) because it acted quickly to remove material when an allegation of infringement was received, and that it did not have ‘actual knowledge’ that the materials in question were infringing.
Finding that Veoh Networks was entitled to the protection afforded by the ‘safe harbor’ provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Veoh. Judge Raymond C. Fisher for the Court stated that “merely hosting a category of copyrightable content, such as music videos, with the general knowledge that one’s services could be used to share infringing material, is insufficient” to establish liability for copyright infringement on the part of the website. As such, Veoh did not have the “substantial influence on the activities of users” for a finding of liability.
The case is UMG Recordings Inc. v. Veoh Networks Inc., 10- 0955902, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and can be viewed at: http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2013/03/14/09-55902.pdf