German Court Orders YouTube To Improve Copyright Protections

youtube-germanyIn a court ruling that both sides are calling a partial victory, a German court has ruled that YouTube must improve its copyright protection in Germany, but stopped short of telling the site to go back and remove all copyrighted material currently on the site.

Hamburg’s state court has told YouTube Germany that it must prevent users from uploading some music videos whose copyrights belong to the German royalties agency, GEMA. The court wants Google to use software to monitor and stop users from uploading alternate versions (i.e., live recordings) of songs that have already been flagged for previous copyright infringement.

According to the AP, the court is not making YouTube take measures against videos already uploaded on its German site.

“The platform operator only has the obligation to block the video … and take appropriate measures to hinder further rights violations after being notified about the copyright violation,” the court said. “There is no obligation to control all videos already uploaded to the platform,” it added.

Both sides are calling the decision a partial success. In a statement shared with the New York Times, a Google spokesperson said the decision “confirms that YouTube is a hosting platform and cannot be obliged to control all videos uploaded to the site. The ruling is a partial success for the music industry in general, for our users as well as artists, composers, YouTube and other web platforms in Germany.”

A GEMA spokesperson tells Reuters that the decision is a “partial victory.”

The New York Times says Google is expected to appeal today’s ruling.

Google also says it’ll resume negotiations with GEMA over a royalty payment issue that has kept GEMA-controlled material off YouTube — an issue that led GEMA to file its lawsuit in 2010.

There’s more discussion on Techmeme.

(Stock image via Shutterstock.com. Used under license.)

Related Topics: Channel: Video | Google: International | Google: Legal | Google: YouTube | Legal: Copyright & Trademark | Top News

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Marketing Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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