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German Court Finds Google Guilty In YouTube Copyright Case

 12:43 am on Sep 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

A German court ruled Friday that Google Inc.'s subsidiary YouTube LLC must pay compensation after users uploaded several videos of performances by singer Sarah Brightman in violation of copyright laws.

The Hamburg state court said the standardized question to users about whether they have the necessary rights to publish material is not enough to relieve YouTube of the legal responsibility for the content, especially because the platform can be used anonymously.

The wording of the court statement appears to be a major blow to YouTube's business model, but Google Germany spokesman Henning Dorstewitz told The Associated Press YouTube will appeal the decision detailed in the 60-page ruling.




 3:03 am on Sep 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

YouTube will appeal, and this will hover in the court system for who knows how long.


 3:19 am on Sep 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

File Sharing Wars, Episode I

In re Napster: [wired.com...]

Bertelsmann AG agreed Friday to pay the National Music Publishers Association $130 million to settle the Napster case’s final copyright claims . . Germany’s largest media concern admitted no wrongdoing in the first case defining the rules of online, peer-to-peer, filing-sharing networks.

File Sharing Wars, Episode II: Germany Strikes Back!


 3:59 am on Sep 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

Germany strikes back? loL ... this is not world war III :)


 4:43 am on Sep 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

Every day it hangs in appeals Google makes mega bucks, there is no incentive to change the business model.

It seems Google should compile a list of copyrighted terms and celebrity names to block users from violating the owners rights, but they won't.

JAB Creations

 8:00 am on Sep 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

What is the surname of the judge or judges involved? That will tell any one not ignorant to global affairs what's going on.

- John


 9:38 am on Sep 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

Rulings of the Hamburg state court in such cases are not worth the paper they are written on. The Hamburg state courts are infamous in Germany for what some call strict interpretation of copyright laws and laws on free speech and some call blatantly ignoring the laws. Usually the Hamburg rulings are overturned by the higher courts - if you can afford to appeal. Since Google can afford to appeal this ruling will probably be of no significance at all.


 10:23 am on Sep 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

nevertheless there is a significant difference between the legal concepts:

u.s. legislation:
- opt-out: turning individuals into a customer relationship without being asked
- youtube gets status as a service provider
- users are responsible for their uploaded content
- no need to delete questionable content from the platform until the rights owner or some other third party intervenes

german legislation:
- opt-in: no cold calling allowed
- youtube has status of a web publisher
- the website owner is responsible for the content on his property
- the website owner needs to check his content constantly and delete violations unrequested and on his own within a short time frame

a business model like youtube wouldn't have emerged in germany in the first place - it simply wouldn't have been possible. in other words: youtube is a service that owes the legislation in their home county their right to exist. street view and google books are other examples. all other providers with similar services have to thank google and the other big guys as the campaigners for the most part.

shoot first and then ask questions is google's prefered strategy for that matter and it's mostly successful as the legal systems are always way behind the technological progress in terms of answers to concrete legal questions in the internet business.


 4:18 am on Sep 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

@moTi: That's not entirely correct. Web publishers are only responsible for content on their property after being told about a violation. Usually you have 24 hours to delete or make inaccessible any content, that violates a law before becoming partly responsible. You do not need to check your content constantly.

I guess that YouTube didn't delete content after being informed of copyright violations? The news article does not give much detail about it. In that case, the ruling by the LG Hamburg would (surprisingly) make sense.


 4:51 am on Sep 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

It seems Google should compile a list of copyrighted terms and celebrity names to block users from violating the owners rights, but they won't.

1) That would block a lot of legitimate content. For example, if they blocked anything containing "Sarah Brightman" and someone uploaded a video of themselves talking to camera called "why I think Sarah Brightman sucks", that would be blocked.

2) You want big names to get better treatment than the rest of us?

3) Many uploads fall under fair use exemptions.


 9:47 am on Sep 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

There laws are there laws. It's that simple and really I can't say they're wrong.

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