Fans of video file-sharing websites got a boost from U.S. District Court Judge A. Howard Matz, who ruled today that Universal Music Group cannot stop a San Diego company from claiming “safe harbor” protection in a copyright-infringement suit. Universal claimed that even though Veoh Networks Inc. may have removed video that was unlawfully shared on its servers once it knew of the activity, the firm was still liable to copyright holders for monetary relief. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act has a provision under which companies that unwittingly accept unauthorized copyrighted materials for storage “by the direction” of users may not be liable for damages. Essentially, the judge ruled the technical aspects of Universal’s argument that Veoh didn’t do enough to prevent misuse of copyrighted materials on its site were flawed because meeting the recording conglomerate’s standards would unduly encumber access to such sites. “Service providers would be greatly deterred from performing their basic, vital and salutary function,” the Central District judge said in his ruling, as was reported by Metropolitan New-Enterprise Online. However, the ruling does not settle the case. It only says Veoh can claim it is exempted from liability under the act when it presents a defense against Universal’s charges of infringement in court.