German Court Says YouTube Has To Pay Because A User Uploaded A Musician's Video

from the bizarrely-misguided dept

Just after a court ruling saying that YouTube did not have to rush and takedown videos covered by German collection society GEMA, but warning that YouTube could very well lose during a full trial, it appears that a German court has ordered YouTube to pay up, because some users uploaded videos of singer Sarah Brightman without permission. Google had argued that it can’t be held responsible for making sure the content users upload is not infringing, and pointed out that it even asks users to confirm that they have the rights to upload the works they’re uploading. However, the court claimed that such a requirement doesn’t absolve YouTube from liability.

The company is going to appeal, but I’m trying to figure out how this makes any sense at all. How can Google possibly know upfront whether or not a user has permission to upload content? It makes absolutely no sense.

Of course, the timing on this is quite good for me. I’m hopping a flight to Germany this weekend, to attend the A2N conference where (among other sessions), I’ll be having an on-stage talk with Patrick Walker, from YouTube — where I’ll at least be certain to ask about this.

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Companies: google, youtube

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Comments on “German Court Says YouTube Has To Pay Because A User Uploaded A Musician's Video”

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43 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I don’t think it would make them look like they had something to hide, but it would not do them any favours commercially.

I can’t help but wonder if the music/movie industries have people Atkray giving them business advice and it’s why they’re in such a mess. Thankfully, Google seem a little smarter than that, and I’m sure they will not even contemplate cutting off an entire country for such a petty reason.

Jeff says:

Dear Google...

Google can simply block Germany if they can’t seem to understand that Youtube cannot view every single video that gets uploaded.

I think I’ll upload a 15 second video. How can youtube possibly know it’ll contain any infringement?

They don’t. An automatic system processes the video file(s) for viewing. That’s it.

Anonymous Coward says:

On a brighter note, YouTube is entitled to seek indemnification from the uploaders per its Terms of Use:

11. Indemnity

To the extent permitted by applicable law, you agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless YouTube, its parent corporation, officers, directors, employees and agents, from and against any and all claims, damages, obligations, losses, liabilities, costs or debt, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney’s fees) arising from: (i) your use of and access to the Service; (ii) your violation of any term of these Terms of Service; (iii) your violation of any third party right, including without limitation any copyright, property, or privacy right; or (iv) any claim that your Content caused damage to a third party. This defense and indemnification obligation will survive these Terms of Service and your use of the Service.

Maybe YouTube should brush up on “impleader” if it applies in this jurisdiction.

The Devil's Coachman (profile) says:

No surprise here. It is Germany, after all.

For a country that once passed laws making it illegal to be a Jew and still be alive, this is not much of a surprise. Fits right in with their history. Don’t be surprised if they order YouTube to edit out all Jewish content, too. Oh, and the gypsies, as well. Did I mention the mentally defective? Oops, can’t edit the mentally defective out, otherwise how would this court ever be able to upload cartoons from Der Sturmer to YouTube?

Lucas (profile) says:

Re: No surprise here. It is Germany, after all.

Ah snap!!! That’s a damn good burn!! Seriously though I’m not even joking about blocking Germany. If this ruling is upheld and YouTube has to start being responsible for the content it’s users upload, then they NEED to get out of Germany. Heck, if I was a German low-life I’d be very tempted to put my own unsuccessful stuff on YouTube, then sue them. The fact that it’s unsuccessful will be the proof that YouTube caused harm ๐Ÿ™‚ There’s nothing for Google to hide by pulling out of Germany. If I buy a gun and shoot someone, is it the gun manufacturer’s fault? What if our laws said it WAS the fault of the gun manufacturer? What company would be stupid enough to sell guns in this country with such a law? And similarly, why should YouTube stay in Germany?

Anonymous Coward says:

We know all about European Law, it’s even more scattered than the countries. There is no constancy. It is whatever the local area decides is the law. Like being sued and charged with a crime for making remarks in the press.
My thing is: The United States may not be perfect and it is full of freaky ideas, but you know where you stand as far as the law goes. So I’ll just stay here. I have no desire to see foreign places, experience foreign laws and / or be locked up in any weird foreign jail.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

No you don’t, even law students learn first not open their mouth or do it at their own peril in the U.S., the statistics coming out from the Bureau of Justice Statistics in the U.S. even admits that 30% of all Americans will have a criminal record of some kind in their entire lifespan, and nobody can be sure if something is legal or illegal because the body of law is so large that even congress don’t know what it is in it.

Please don’t believe me, look for yourself.

Here is the video from a talk about the law in the U.S.

“Don’t Talk to the Police” by Professor James Duane
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4097602514885833865#

One in 31

Explosive growth in the number of people on probation or parole has propelled the population of the American corrections system to more than 7.3 million, or 1 in every 31 U.S. adults, according to a report released by the Pew Center on the States.

http://www.pewcenteronthestates.org/report_detail.aspx?id=49382

Bureau of Justice Statistics
http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/

stephan says:

@ anonymous coward

funny! I agree that the ruling against google is bullshit. your comment has it’s own load of bullshit though: You don’t want to be locked up in any weird foreign jail? Stay at home then; but beware: your beloved US, land of the free, is amongst the top countries in the word regarding the number of people who sit in jail; the ratio between inhabitants and people in jail is 5 to 10 times higher than in European countries. Enjoy.

Anonymous Coward says:

The court that made that ruling (Landgericht Hamburg) is infamous for always deciding in favor of the “rights owner” and is responsible for many ridiculous verdicts regarding the internet.

Under German legislation you can pick the court to decide upon a case freely in internet related cases, because the internet has no location, so there’s some sort of lawsuit tourism to that particular court.

Many of their rulings have been reverted by higher courts, but most defendants don’t have the time and money to go through appeals up to the constitutional court.

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