YouTube Wins Against Copyright Compensation Claim

by jimloxley on June 1, 2012

Video sharing website YouTube recently secured a victory in a legal dispute launched against it by French TV channel TF1 over copyright infringement after several of its programs were uploaded by members. The French TV channel is demanding €140 million in compensation which is around £110 million. However, a few days ago, the judge overruling the legal proceedings dismissed the compensation claim, stating that YouTube must only pay €80,000, or around £63,000, in restitution.

The court decision will pave the way for YouTube users to post material on the website without the fear of liability for copyright infringement hanging over them. Christopher Muller, who is the head of the YouTube partnership in Southern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East wrote in his blog that the end result “will be more videos posted on the net generating more revenue for artists and more exposure to a global audience for these artists.” Muller went on to say that “The verdict demonstrates how the Internet is enriching French culture,” and that “By embracing the Web, this verdict moves France a step forward to further benefit from [the] Internet’s massive economic and cultural opportunity.”

The French TV channel was legally challenging not only Google’s YouTube, but also suing a similar French file sharing website, Dailymotion, from which it’s claiming for around £40 million in compensation for breach of intellectual property. The verdict for the Dailymotion intellectual property case is due later this year. In his blog, Muller also stated that Google has negotiated some 3,000 deals with media groups all over the world including French partners Arte, FM and AFP. Furthermore, in December of last year YouTube signed royalty collection agreements with music copyright societies.

YouTube has come under fire for intellectual property compensation claims for a number of instances in the past. In April, Germany ordered Google install filtering software onto the German servers in order to prevent copyrighted material being uploaded by users. Similar charges were also initiated by Italy. It’s suspected that while this new medium establishes itself in the modern world, more intellectual property lawsuits will come and go before things finally reach equilibrium and settle down. If one thing is certain, it’s that this particular case is a step in the right direction for freedom of information on the internet.

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