Yesterday, Judge Louis Stanton of the Southern District Court here in NYC issued his opinion in the long standing legal battle between YouTube and Viacom. It was the very threat of copyright litigation that forced YouTube to sell to Google, who had the resources to fight this fight.
This decision means that other user generated content services will not have to make the choice that YouTube had to make. Judge Stanton ruled that YouTube was operating within the framework of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which says that web services that have infringing material in them must respond to take down notices but do not have to proactively weed out their services of all infringing material.
This is a huge victory for entrepreneurs and the web. I am ecstatic.