Google and Viacom jointly announced on 18 March 2014 that they agreed to settle a seven-year long litigation, in which Viacom accused YouTube of allowing its users to upload copyrighted content. However, Viacom failed to prove that YouTube had knowledge of what its users were uploading (see Judge Stanton’s ruling here and the Appellate Court’s ruling here).
Viacom and Google settle U.S. copyright lawsuit against YouTube
The case revolves around the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) and its "Safe Harbor" provision, which gives YouTube protection from copyright claims so long as it takes down the offending content quickly after being made aware of it. Originally, Viacom was claiming approximately USD 1 billion in damages.
The joint announcement now states that: "This settlement reflects the growing collaborative dialogue between our two companies on important opportunities, and we look forward to working more closely together." The terms of the settlement were not made public.