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Viacom Int’l, Inc., Football Ass’n Premier League Ltd. v. YouTube, Inc.

Appeal from the judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Louis L. Stanton, Judge), granting summary judgment to the defendants-appellees on all claims of direct and secondary copyright infringement based on a finding that the defendantsappellees were entitled to safe harbor protection under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), 17 U.S.C. § 512. Although the District Court correctly held that the § 512(c) safe harbor requires knowledge or awareness of specific infringing activity, we vacate the order granting summary judgment because a reasonable jury could find that YouTube had actual knowledge or awareness of specific infringing activity on its website. We further hold that the District Court erred by interpreting the “right and ability to control” infringing activity to require “item-specific” knowledge. Finally, we affirm the District Court’s holding that three of the challenged YouTube software functions fall within the safe harbor for infringement that occurs “by reason of” storage at the direction of the user, and remand for further fact-finding with respect to a fourth software function. Affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded.

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