French court has recently told its broadcaster TF1 that it is not allowed to collect money from the search giant Google for its sports and movie coverage that leaked to YouTube. The broadcaster claimed 141,000,000 euro in damages, but ended up with being ordered to pay 80,000 euro of the search engine’s legal fees.
The court ruling said that the search engine can’t be hold responsible for filtering the material on YouTube. This decision follows an earlier case in the country last year, in which video-sharing service Dailymotion was recognized as a platform for the material rather than an editor of it, whether it is copyrighted or not.
For others, this ruling means that online service aren’t legally liable for ensuring that unauthorized content doesn’t appear, as long as it does whatever it can to take illegal content down once the rights holder sends a complaint.
In the meantime, there are a few other cases going on in the EU – for example, a German court has handed down a decision in April that the streaming website was liable for the video its users uploaded and should delete copyrighted clips or face a hefty royalties bill.
Nevertheless, in France the courts have been repeatedly ruling that YouTube wasn’t responsible in principle for the video material on its website, but rather its users were. In other words, it has been said that Google had no obligation to check the material before it is uploaded as long as it informed its users that publishing TV shows, music clips, concerts or advertisements without prior consent of the copyright holder wasn’t allowed.
The broadcaster, TF1, claimed that it was surprised with the decision and might try to appeal it. The search giant told local media that the decision in question was good for both the company and its users.