Viacom Denied Punitive Damages In YouTube Suit

A symbolic setback for Viacom in its $1 billion suit against Google’s (GOOG) YouTube. On Friday, US District Court Judge Louis Stanton denied the media conglomerate’s claim for punitive damages in the case. If the court had let the claim stand, it could have taken the damages associated with the lawsuit into funny money territory — at least theoretically.

Viacom (VIAB) is suing Google’s YouTube for a nice round $1 billion, but even that is a more-or-less made-up number based on a very large number of alleged copyright violations. The statutory penalty is $750 to $30,000 per violation, or up to $150,000 if the violation is proven “willfull.”

Meanwhile, back in the real world, the two sides are hashing out discovery rules and depositions should start later this year.

Judge Stanton’s ruling:


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