YouTube may be one of the largest sites on the planet and, by far, the most popular destination for online video, but it's still facing a lot of problems. For one, it's not making any money, though that may not be as bad
as one might expect. However, it's also facing a number of legal threats and is involved in some lawsuits filed by copyright
holders. One such suit seems to be going well for the Google-owned site as the judge presiding dismissed some of the plaintiffs' claims.
This particular case is a class action suit filed in May 2007 by the English Premier League, which was later joined by a number of music publishers. U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton ruled that the plaintiffs couldn't ask for statutory damages, under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, for videos that weren't copyrighted in the U.S.
The judge also ruled that YouTube couldn't be asked to pay punitive damages either; however, the plaintiffs could still seek damages for videos that would qualify under the “live broadcast exemption” of the DMCA. The ruling doesn't cover other parts of the claims, like the one that YouTube should have taken better steps in preventing copyrighted material from being uploaded.
The entertainment company Viacom, which owns the movie production corporations Paramount Pictures and Dreamworks as well as a number of cable channels, filed a suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in 2007 claiming that more than 160,000 videos with content copyrighted by the company were available on YouTube and had been viewed at the time more than 1.5 billion times. Parts of the class action suit initiated by the soccer league were combined with the Viacom suit; however, none of the recent rulings affect the Viacom claim and a trial date for either case is yet to be set.