On the 4 July, we reported that a judge in New York ruled that Google must pass on the details of more than 100 million people - many of them in the UK - to Viacom, the US TV company that Google is involved in with a billion-dollar court case.

But now it seems the personal data of the millions of YouTube fans may be protected after all.

Google has struck a deal with Viacom to protect the information.

Under the deal, Google will make user information and internet protocol addresses from its YouTube subsidiary anonymous before handing over the data to Viacom in the US legal case.

The deal also extends to other companies who are also pursuing YouTube user information over copyright claims.

These include the FA Premier League, the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organisation and the Scottish Premier League.

Google commented in a post on the official YouTube blog in the US: "We are pleased to report that Viacom, MTV and other litigants have backed off their original demand for all users' viewing histories and we will not be providing that information".

"In addition, Viacom and the plaintiffs had originally demanded access to users' private videos, our search technology, and our video identification technology. Our lawyers strongly opposed each of those demands and the court sided with us."

The court cases against Google are unlikely to come to trial before 2009 or 2010.