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A roundup of the latest high-tech news “Hot Off the Wire” from The Associated Press and Local Tech Wire:

• Judge rebuffs Viacom in YouTube copyright case

SAN FRANCISCO – YouTube’s actions spoke louder than its founders’ words when it came down to deciding whether the Internet’s most watched video site illegally exploited copyrighted clips owned by media company Viacom Inc.

That was the rationale driving a pivotal ruling in a high-stakes legal battle pitting Viacom against YouTube and its deep-pocketed owner, Internet search leader Google Inc.

U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton in New York sided with Google Wednesday as he rebuffed Viacom’s attempt to collect more than $1 billion in damages for YouTube’s alleged copyright infringement during its first two years of existence.

The 30-page opinion embraces Google’s interpretation of a 12-year-old law that shields Internet services from claims of copyright infringement as long as they promptly remove illegal content when notified of a violation.

It represented a major victory for Google, as well as other Internet service providers and free-speech groups who feared a decision in favor of Viacom would undercut the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and make it more difficult for people to use the Internet to express themselves.

"Without this decision, user-generated content would dry up and the Internet would cease to be a participatory medium," said David Sohn, a lawyer for the Center for Democracy & Technology.

• Dell huddles with Wall Street analysts

ROUND ROCK, Texas — Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL), the world’s third-largest PC maker, is holding its annual meeting with Wall Street analysts Thursday.

Business has been good enough that Dell has pushed back the closing of its manufacturing plant in Winston-Salem so far this year.

Like much of the technology industry, Dell is benefiting from businesses that have begun spending money to replace aging computers, servers and other products. During the worst of the recession, corporations held off on technology purchases, while consumers flocked to the least expensive laptops and smaller netbooks.

In a note to investors earlier this week, UBS analyst Maynard Um wrote that he expects Dell executives to sound upbeat about the return of corporate customers, which are more profitable for Dell than consumers. Um also expects Dell to talk about its technology services business, which brings in more profit for Dell than selling hardware, but which remains a small portion of the company’s revenue.

Dell may also discuss plans to further cut costs beyond the $4 billion in savings it had targeted through fiscal 2011, and to make its consumer PC business more profitable.

Um wrote that he hopes Dell will give investors benchmarks to help track the company’s performance, and that he hopes to hear the company’s take on what will drive the business after corporations finish their catch-up spending on new computers and other technology.

Analysts will also be listening for an update on Dell’s integration of Perot Systems, the technology services provider it bought last year for $3.9 billion, and for clues as to future acquisitions.

• Rumblefish to sell songs for use in YouTube videos

LOS ANGELES — Independent music licensing company Rumblefish Inc. is giving YouTube uploaders a way to add songs to their videos without infringing on copyrights.

Starting Tuesday, the company will sell songs from its catalog of artists for $1.99. Included in the sale will be a license allowing the video creator to use the music legally in their video forever.

One catch is that the video can’t be used to make money. If an uploader wants to make advertising revenue on his video, he’ll have to upgrade to a commercial license.

Another catch is that the work of major label artists is not included. That still leaves about 35,000 songs from 35 countries, though.

"It’s just for the everyday, average YouTube user," said Rumblefish founder and chief executive, Paul Anthony.

Currently, YouTube videos that use music without a license can be deleted from the site, or can be partially covered with an ad that generates revenue for YouTube and the recording company.

Privately held Rumblefish, based in Portland, Ore., will be selling the licensed songs at its new website, FriendlyMusic.com.