UPDATE 2-Google, Viacom settle landmark YouTube lawsuit

Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:12am EDT
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By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK, March 18 (Reuters) - Google Inc has settled a landmark copyright lawsuit in which Viacom Inc accused the Internet search company of posting its programs on the YouTube video service without permission.

The settlement ends seven years of litigation that drew wide attention from Hollywood, the music industry and Internet companies, and which tested the reach of a federal law designed to thwart piracy while letting people find entertainment online.

"This settlement reflects the growing collaborative dialogue between our two companies on important opportunities, and we look forward to working more closely together," Google and Viacom said in a joint statement.

Terms were not disclosed. No money changed hands, a person close to the matter said. The person was not authorized to discuss the settlement's terms.

Viacom had originally filed a $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube and others in 2007, and eventually accused the Google unit of illegally broadcasting 79,000 copyrighted videos on its website between 2005 and 2008.

Based in New York, Viacom is controlled by media mogul Sumner Redstone, and owns cable networks such as Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon as well as the Paramount movie studio.

Google is based in Mountain View, California. It paid about $1.65 billion for YouTube in 2006.   Continued...