24 hours after the Australian High Court ruled in favour of iiNet in their Copyright fight against Hollywood studios, a German Court has told Google, the owners of YouTube, that they could well end up having to pay out huge royalties after allowing users to post music clips.YouTube lost their battle in the German Courts with Google now faced with the possibility they will have to stop users uploading songs for which they don’t own the rights. In Australia the Hollywood studios tried to force ISPs, such as iiNet, to terminate accounts of users who downloaded illegal videos.
The court decided that the Google-owned YouTube is ultimately responsible for the content users post, and that it should do more to stop it happening in the first place.
The court wants filters installed to automatically detect when users try to post music clips whose rights are held by German royalty collection group, Gema.
The Daily Telegraph in the UK said that YouTube’s existing policies claim the site is simply a platform for users to upload material. When YouTube is informed about copyright violations, however, it says it removes the related content from the site as soon as possible.
Currently 60 hours of material is uploaded to YouTube a minute. The introduction of any filtering could slow down the pace at which YouTube uploads videos.
Gema represents approximately 60,000 German musicians and song writers, but it brought a test case based on just seven clips posted to the site. Although YouTube had held talks about royalties with Gema, they broke down in 2010.
If YouTube is subsequently forced to pay royalties on all the material it hosts, however, the bill would run into many millions of euros.