Google has found itself accused of copyright violations and copyright infringement on many occasions. The majority of copyright infringement accusations come from its ownership of YouTube where large amounts of video are posted by users.
In 2007, Viacom sued YouTube and parent Google for $1 billion alleging that YouTube was allowing the piracy of content owned by Viacom. Reuters reports that the same year a suit was filed against Google and YouTube by the UK Football Association Premier League (FAPL).
A judge in the U.S. has dismissed some of the damages claims brought against Google in the FAPL suit. The FAPL argued that works made outside the U.S. were exempt from the registration requirements of the U.S. Copyright Act.
The judge presiding over the case ruled that damages were not available for any works produced outside the U.S. that weren't registered in America. However, the judge noted an exception for live broadcasts.
The judge agreed that the plaintiffs could -- if they win in court -- seek statutory damages on infringement for live events. The plaintiffs may also seek reimbursement for lost profits and disgorgement of profits if they win in court.
Attorney for the plaintiffs Louis Solomon told Reuters, "It's more important to get the live broadcast covered because our lead plaintiff, that is their whole business. The class is hugely benefited. Concert promoters, boxing promoters, French tennis, Scottish soccer -- all of that now gets protected with statutory damages."
The ruling by the judge on the case means that the plaintiffs could potentially recover billions of dollars if they prevail on the majority of their claims. Google attorney Adam Barea said that the charges in the case were "baseless from the start."
Barea said in a statement, "We are very pleased with the court's decision and will continue to vigorously defend against the remaining baseless claims in the case."