The US internet giant Google has won a landmark case: a judge in an American court has dismissed claims that its YouTube video site flouts copyright law.
The American media company Viacom had sought a billion dollars in damages, claiming that in an act of "massive intentional copyright infringement" Google had done nothing to prevent tens of thousands of copyright videos being uploaded onto YouTube illegally.
But Judge Louis Stanton ruled in the Manhattan District Court that YouTube acts quickly to remove illegal videos. Nor, he said, could Google and YouTube be held liable merely for having a "general awareness" that videos might be posted illegally.
Viacom says it will appeal against the decision.
The BBC reports that free-speech activists have welcomed the decision, saying it means the internet will continue to be a participatory medium.