Vimeo Prevails in New York Copyright Infringement Appeal

Vimeo, an internet service provider that allows users to upload audio and video content, is not liable for copyright infringement  in New York after the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a Manhattan Federal Court decision.

By reversing and remanding the decision of a Manhattan Federal Court, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) grants an internet service provider a “safe harbor” from infringement claims, regardless of the publish date of recordings.

In the matter of Capitol Records v. Vimeo, Capitol Records sued in Manhattan Federal Court for copyright infringement, claiming that Vimeo should be held liable for users publishing copyrighted materials, including music recorded before 1972.

The Second Circuit disagreed, holding that construing DMCA as leaving service providers like Vimeo subject to liability for the acts of users posting materials that may infringe copyright “defeats the very purpose Congress sought to achieve in passing the statute.”

The Second Circuit also rejected Capitol Records’s claim that Vimeo should be held liable for videos uploaded onto its site that a reasonable employee should have had “red flags” of copyright infringement.

The Second Circuit also rejected Capitol Record’s argument that Vimeo showed “willful blindness” towards audio infringement since it monitors only video content.

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