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AKIPRESS.COM - Viacom and YouTube, a unit of Google, said Tuesday they had settled a copyright violations battle out of court, The Boston Globe reported today.
The agreement comes just before the two companies were to return to court next week and reflects the changed landscape concerning allegations of copyright violations on the Web.
Neither Viacom, the owner of cable channel Comedy Central and the Paramount Pictures movie studio, nor YouTube, the leading global platform for online video, would reveal the terms of the settlement, but the digital news site ReCode reported that no money passed hands.
The lawsuit began two years after YouTube’s creation, with Viacom’s complaint that its shows, like “Sponge Bob Square Pants” and “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” were appearing on YouTube without its permission. Viacom sought $1 billion in damages.
But in the interim, Google has worked to address concerns of content owners such as Viacom by creating a system that allows them to track their content when it is posted and then request it be taken down or run with ads.
The situation has changed so much that in 2012 the two media giants signed a pact to allow YouTube to rent out hundreds of Paramount films.
The joint statement by Viacom and Google alluded to the greatly reshaped landscape, with the comment, “This settlement reflects the growing collaborative dialogue between our two companies on important opportunities, and we look forward to working more closely together.”