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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on May 16, 2013

A U.S. Judge on Wednesday denied a class-action law suit to copyright owner’s suing Google Inc. over the unauthorized use of copyright material on the video sharing powerhouse YouTube.

Judge Louis L Stanton of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York denied the class action suit citing that the copyright claims in the class action suit had only superficial similarities. Stanton was involved in a similar case involving YouTube earlier this year when Viacom sued the video hosting site for $1 billion after YouTube users uploaded video from “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”, “South Park”, and “Spongebob SquarePants” without permission.  Stanton also dismissed Viacom’s case in April.

The proposed class action lawsuit was filed in 2007 and included plaintiffs from The English Premiere League, the French Tennis Federation, the National Music Publishers’ Association, and individual music publishers. One part of the proposed class covered music publishers whose compositions were allowed to be used on YouTube without proper permission.

Copyright claims are poor candidates for class action suits, the Judge stated in his ruling on Wednesday because “each claim presents particular factual issues of copyright ownership, infringement, fair use, and damages, among others.” Stanton said. Beyond common traits like proving the ownership of the material that has been used without permission and that YouTube failed to remove the copyrighted material in a timely fashion, each case “must be resolved upon facts which are particular to that specific claim of infringement,” he said.

Citing the Viacom case, Stanton said that YouTube does not generate the infringing material rather it just hosts it. According to the DMCA it is required that YouTube has legal knowledge or awareness of the infringing material to be found liable for it. When YouTube does become aware of infringing material they act quickly to remove it.