Court dismisses YouTube suit


A Los Angeles federal court judge has dismissed a copyright-infringement lawsuit against YouTube in order to allow the plaintiff — a Los Angeles video news service — to join a proposed class-action lawsuit against the site pending in New York.

The dismissal, requested by Robert Tur and his Los Angeles News Service, was granted Friday by Judge Florence-Marie Cooper.

YouTube was opposed to the dismissal, arguing, among other things, that the class-action suit will proceed at a slower pace than the Tur case, which could result in increased liability for the site if an adverse judgment is entered against it.

Tur was the first to file suit against the online video-sharing community last year, alleging that YouTube allowed its users to upload his copyrighted news footage without permission.

As a veteran freelance cameraman, Tur has captured some of Los Angeles' most infamous incidents. Among the footage he owns is aerial footage of the beating of trucker Reginald Denny in South Los Angeles during the Los Angeles riots and the O.J. Simpson white Bronco slow-moving police chase.

The dismissal allows Tur to join a proposed class-action suit filed this year in New York federal court by the U.K.-based Football Association Premier League. That lawsuit, along with another one filed in New York by Viacom, also alleges copyright infringement.

In the dismissal, Cooper rejected YouTube's request for fees and costs from Tur for the work its lawyers did on the case up until its dismissal.

It's obvious, Cooper wrote, that YouTube's lawyers will be able to use the work in the Viacom and Premier League cases.