In a high-profile case that could test the limits of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA), media giant Viacom filed suit against YouTube and its parent company, Google, seeking $1 billion in damages for the posting of hundreds of thousands of Viacom video clips on the popular YouTube website. Viacom, the producer of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, SpongeBob Squarepants, and other hit programs on cable and broadcast television networks, filed suit in a New York federal district court after negotiations toward a potential settlement with Google failed. (Although Google honored Viacom’s request to remove nearly 160,000 copyrighted clips from the YouTube site, observers say that most of the clips reappeared on YouTube within days of removal.) Viacom is also seeking an injunction that would bar further copyright violations by Google and YouTube. Asserting, however, that YouTube “has respected the legal rights of copyright holders,” Google claims that the posting of video clips on the YouTube site by web users is protected under the DCMA, which provides a “safe harbor” for search engines, web hosts and ISPs to shield them against liability for third-party copyright infringement. Although web site owners are required under the DCMA to “expeditiously” remove or disable access to infringing material when notified of the appearance of such material on their websites, web hosts are under no obligation to actively monitor their sites for the posting of infringing material.