YouTube is currently the largest video website on the Internet. Although YouTube is often aware of the existence of infringing videos on its website, it only takes down such videos when copyright owners notify YouTube that a specific video is unauthorized. This policy prompted Viacom International to file a one billion dollar copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. On June 23, 2007, the court dismissed all charges against YouTube, holding that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) shielded the company from liability. This article argues that the court’s holding was erroneous because it misapplied several ambiguous provisions in the DMCA at critical junctures of its analysis. This article therefore proposes legislative amendments to the DMCA, and argues that the decision must be reversed on appeal in order to adequately protect the rights of copyright owners.

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