Viacom settles legal case with Google

Media giants Viacom and Google have put to bed their long-running copyright battle, a move they say is a reflection of a “growing collaborative dialogue”.

SpongeBobAn out of court settlement means the litigation, which Viacom first brought forward in 2007 and garnered attention around the world, is now over.

Terms were not discussed but numerous reports claim no money has changed hands.

“Google and Viacom today jointly announced the resolution of the Viacom vs. YouTube copyright litigation. This settlement reflects the growing collaborative dialogue between our two companies on important opportunities, and we look forward to working more closely together.”

Viacom had been seeking US$1 billion in compensation after complaining 79,000 revenue-driving programmes, including SpongeBob SquarePants and South Park, had been illegally uploaded to Google and viewed illegally hundreds of thousands of times.

A judge rejected Viacom’s complaint last year, ruling that YouTube did not have to trawl its platform to find illegally uploaded video as long as it removed them when brought to its attention. Viacom appealed that decision but has now settled, shutting down further litigation.

Google and Viacom have been growing closer through content deals such as one bringing Paramount movies to its Google Play digital entertainment store in April 2012.

Google acquired video sharing website YouTube in 2006 for US$1.65 billion, while Viacom operates channels such as MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.