YouTube prepares Lean Back, claims victory in Viacom case

YouTube product innovation director Hunter Walk presented the online video site’s “Lean Back” project to journalists in Paris this week.

Lean Back, which is expected to be made publicly available in the next few weeks, will allow users to create their own bouquets of streaming online TV channels using a personalisable clickable mosaic. The service will also allow YouTube users to interact and search for content, and create playlists. Walk said that YouTube was also considering the launch of pay video service as a supplementary choice for rights holders.

YouTube’s Lean Back is being developed in parallel with Google’s own recently-announced TV plans.

Separately, on Wednesday, a New York court threw out the major copyright infringement case brought against YouTube by Viacom three years ago, immediately after the video-sharing site was acquired by Google.

The judge ruled that YouTube was fulfilling its obligations by pulling content from the site as soon as it was notified by rights owners. While Google welcomed the landmark ruling, Viacom said it would appeal the ruling, which it described as “fundamentally flawed”.

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