Court Throws Out UMG Lawsuit Against Veoh

A federal judge in Los Angeles today threw out Universal Music Group’s copyright infringement lawsuit against Veoh Networks. We are out in Seattle so we’ll just post Veoh’s press release for now. We’ll have to see what implications this has for how courts interpret video sites’ protection under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

LOS ANGELES, September 14 – In a major victory for Veoh Networks and other online video sites, a federal judge in Los Angeles today threw out a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Universal Music Group. The court’s awarding of summary judgment to Veoh is the latest in a string of decisions against UMG in the case and marks the second time that a federal court has found Veoh’s copyright process to be compliant with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

“This is a great victory for Veoh that allows us to continue our focus on innovation in online video, unshackled by the distraction of this lawsuit,” said Veoh Networks Founder and Chief Executive Officer Dmitry Shapiro. “We can continue to support our many content partners, including Disney, CBS, Viacom, Sony and Time Warner, who understand the need to innovate and work together to create value in the emerging business of Internet distribution. From an industry perspective, this decision is a big deal as well, as we now have a second clear victory showing that companies who work diligently to respect property owners and the DMCA will be able to run their businesses and be successful without the fear of those select content owners who may be uncomfortable with emerging technology.”

The decision, effectively ending the case, is an important step in the maturing of the four year-old online video industry, which will continue to expand in the coming years and grow to represent an extraordinary value to consumers, advertisers and content owners.

The Court held in its decision that Veoh satisfied all of the elements required for safe harbor under the DMCA. Veoh’s policy, according to the Court, “satisfies Congress’ intent” with respect to handling claims of copyright infringement and terminating repeat infringers. The judge noted the prior federal court’s opinion about Veoh, which stated that “the record presented demonstrates that, far from encouraging copyright infringement, Veoh has a strong DMCA policy, takes active steps to limit incidents of infringement on its website and works diligently to keep unauthorized works off its website. In sum, Veoh has met its burden in establishing its entitlement to safe harbor for the alleged infringements here.”

“From its inception, Veoh has respected the rights of property owners, and now we are the only online video service that has been vindicated on this matter by two different federal courts,” said Joshua Metzger, Veoh Networks’ Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and General Counsel. “The court’s decision has implications well beyond Veoh by setting a precedent that online video sites are not liable for the actions of publishers in copyright cases as long as they work to protect copyrights and work within the provisions of the DMCA.”

With the lawsuit behind it, Veoh will continue its focus on innovation in the online video industry. Veoh’s industry leading innovations include providing a single system to access the broadest range of videos online, leveraging patent pending recommendation technology to discovering and finding video content wherever they are hosted on the Internet and the recently introduced Veoh Video Compass, a simple tool that integrates video and Veoh’s recommendation technology into users’ everyday browsing experience, making it even easier to experience relevant, useful video content without the need to visit any video destination site.

Dozens of major brands are successfully advertising on Veoh, taking advantage of our audience, multiple ad products and innovative behavioral targeting technology to allow them to get compelling video messages and integrated campaigns in front of the exact audiences they are targeting. With today’s court decision, Veoh expects to achieve profitability in the next two quarters.