Viacom Appeals YouTube Copyright Ruling

Viacom's (VIA) 4-year-old beef with YouTube is still alive and well. The cable company contends that Internet-video giant YouTube violated copyright laws by showing pirated video clips and is seeking more than $1 billion in damages. In June, a court ruled in YouTube's favor. But on Friday, Viacom filed an appeal.

Viacom argues that YouTube, owned by Google (GOOG), knew about thousands of Viacom's MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon videos that users were posting on the site and failed to remove them, the Associated Press reported.

In June, the judge ruled that YouTube had complied with an act that protects user-populated websites from copyright-infringement liability as long as they remove copyrighted content once they're notified of a violation. YouTube took down almost all of the illegal videos the day after Viacom sent YouTube a notice in early 2007.

In September, a Spanish court denied a similar claim from Spanish television channel Telecinco against YouTube, saying that it was the responsibility of Telecinco to notify YouTube whenever it noticed its copyrighted broadcast videos had been uploaded to the site.

Google-owned sites in October attracted 146 million unique viewers, making it by far the largest online-video property in the U.S., according to ComScore. Runner-up Yahoo (YHOO) attracted about 54 million viewers.