It's been about a year since the 2nd Circuit appeals court sent the Viacom v. YouTube case back to the district court. As we noted at the time, the original district court ruling, which said YouTube was protected by the DMCA's safe harbors, was a good ruling, well reasoned and argued by the court. In contrast, the appeals court ruling dipped into very troubling waters. While it agreed with the district court that YouTube needed "specific" knowledge of infringing works, rather than "general" knowledge that some works were infringing, it also went into questionable territory by arguing that YouTube could be found guilty of "willful blindness," despite the DMCA statute not including any such concept and also being pretty clear that you need specific knowledge in the form of a DMCA-compliant notification.
On Friday, the latest set of (slightly redacted) filings in the case back at the district court were revealed. They were filed in the past few months, but sensitive info was finally redacted and the "public" copies have now been released. Google has, not surprisingly, basically asked the court to reiterate its original ruling, noting that even following the appeals court sending it back, the situation hasn't changed: YouTube obeyed the DMCA's notice-and-takedown procedures and is protected under the DMCA's 512(c) safe harbors (pdf). Google highlights how YouTube has followed notice-and-takedown procedures from early on, and even in the early days blocked some videos that it thought might be infringing.
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