Video sharing website YouTube has lost its copyright court battle over music videos in a German court.
The court in Hamburg has ruled in favour of a German music royalty collecting society that claimed Google doesn’t do enough to monitor the copyright of content on the platform. GEMA represents about 60,000 German song writers and musicians in the country.
The ruling states that YouTube must install filters to check and spot users from uploading music videos whose rights are owned by the music-royalties collecting body. And the suit revealed that YouTube is responsible for the content that users post to the website.
The landmark case could result in YouTube forking out hefty shares of its website’s advertising revenues to GEMA. And if enforced, the ruling could also slow the rate at which video is posted to the site as any music clip would have to be cleared for copyright before being used. At the moment, it is reported that 60 hours’ worth of video is uploaded every minute and over four billion videos are viewed a day!
The German industry group said that YouTube had not done enough to stop copyrighted clips being posted and Heiner Steeneck, the presiding judge, said Google must now implement features to detect future violations if a rights holder alerts the company.
YouTube had initially argued that it took no legal responsibility for what users did or monitoring videos and music clips and that they merely provided the technical framework to publish content but the court as disagreed.
The court case began back in 2010 and it involved 12 separate music clips posted on YouTube without copyright permission which GEMA had asserted. The recent ruling forced seven to be taken down.
YouTube owner Google has yet to comment on the ruling but Harald Heker, the head of GAMA, has said that all they want is a contract, not to take them to court.