Google and Viacom have agreed to settle a copyright dispute out of court following a seven year battle. The two companies announced the resolution on Tuesday but failed to provide details according to a report from Re/code.
In early 2007, Viacom filed a lawsuit against Google in which they accused YouTube of rampant and intentional copyright infringement. The media company was seeking an injunction against the popular video sharing website and more than $1 billion in damages.
At the time, it appeared the lawsuit could have serious implications on how video sharing took place online. But now after what has seemed like an eternity in Internet time, the core issues have by and large worked themselves out through various other rulings and the general consensus of how online sharing works.
As a broad rule of thumb, digital services like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter aren’t responsible for copyright violations so long as they don’t encourage such violations and allow copyright holders to remove content they don’t want posted on such sites.
In a joint statement on the matter, the pair said the settlement reflects the growing collaborative dialog between the two companies on important opportunities and they look forward to working more closely together in the future.
Although terms of the settlement weren’t mentioned, sources familiar with the matter said no money traded hands. If that is indeed accurate, one can only wonder how much money was wasted in legal fees over the course of the lawsuit.