The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] on Thursday overturned [opinion, PDF] an order dismissing a $1 billion copyright infringement suit against Google, by Viacom [corporate websites], for Google's YouTube [media website; JURIST news archive] service. The lower court initially dismissed [JURIST report] Viacom's suit in June 2010 finding that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) [text, PDF] protected Google because it provided a "safe harbor" period for the removal of copyrighted content after notice is given and that Google never disputed any requests from Viacom to remove material. The court further held that the DMCA required Google to have more than a "general awareness" that videos might be posted illegally in order to be found liable. The court of appeals reversed the lower court, however, "because a reasonable jury could conclude that YouTube had knowledge or awareness." Specifically, the court of appeals cited a number of e-mails between Google officials recognizing the presence of copyrighted material on the website, including clips of English Premier League soccer and CNN footage of a shuttle launch, and choosing not to take the material down until a cease and desist letter was received. The court ruled that a reasonable jury could find that Google had knowledge or awareness of specific instances of infringement or that the company was willfully blind to the infringement. Both parties stated that they were pleased with the ruling [NYT report]. Google stated that the court rejected Viacom's interpretation of the DMCA and all that Viacom has left is a "dispute over a tiny percentage of videos long ago removed." Viacom was pleased that the suit was reinstated and that "intentionally ignoring theft is not protected by the law."