court-gavelGoogle and Viacom have finally resolved the long-running lawsuit over videos uploaded to YouTube almost a decade ago. The terms of the out-of-court settlement aren’t being disclosed but we’re just pleased this anachronistic fight is over. At last.

The Beginning

In 2005, when YouTube was still a fledgling service with a Wild West mentality, people were uploading all sorts of content to the site with little regard for legality. Copyrighted clips belonging to Viacom made it onto YouTube, and so began the long and tortuous story of Google Vs. Viacom.

The Long & Winding Road

Google acquired YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. Viacom pulled its content from YouTube, and in March 2007 sued Google for $1 billion over 63,000 counts of alleged copyright infringement.

It looked to have been settled in 2010 when the U.S. District Court ruled in Google’s favor. But Viacom appealed and the summary judgement was overturned.

The two companies were due to appear in court again next week, but it seems both sides lost their will to fight on any longer.

Settled, At Last!

And so it came to pass that on March 18, 2014, Google and Viacom jointly announced they had reached an out-of-court settlement to bring this monotonous tennis match to an end.

The companies issued a joint statement saying, “This settlement reflects the growing collaborative dialogue between our two companies on important opportunities, and we look forward to working more closely together.” The details of the settlement remain undisclosed.

The End

Is this ludicrous lawsuit finally over? Has common sense really prevailed? Did both sides realize they needed to stop paying out ridiculous amounts of money to lawyers? Did they then gather around a table and flesh out the details of a settlement which would see both sides walk away happy and contented?

I want to believe it’s all true, but after so many years of covering this ridiculous battle of wills that slowly but surely became an anachronism thanks to the rest of the world moving on, I can’t quite believe it’s all over. Pinch me, I must be dreaming.

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