French Court Says Google Not Liable For Infringing Works Uploaded To YouTube

from the makes-sense dept

In a case that appears to parallel the Viacom/YouTube case in the US, French TV network TF1 sued YouTube/Google (and competitor Dailymotion), claiming that those sites were liable for infringing videos uploaded to the site. However, in a new ruling, a French court has dismissed the case. As with other, similar cases, the French court found that Google had made “sufficiently adequate efforts” to takedown infringing content when it found out about it. More specifically, the court properly noted that users were responsible for content uploaded, rather than the site.

“The defendant is not responsible in principle for the video content on its site; only the users of the site are,” the decision reads.

“It has no obligation to police the content before it is put online as long as it informs users that posting television shows, music videos, concerts or advertisements without prior consent of the owner is not allowed.”

The case went so poorly for TF1 that it was told to pay Google’s legal expenses. TF1 has suggested that it will appeal, calling the ruling “surprising.”

There have been a series of similar lawsuits filed around the globe, with mixed results, but hopefully we’re reaching an era where courts (and companies) finally understand that a platform should never be directly liable for the actions of its users.

Filed Under: ,
Companies: google, tf1, viacom

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Comments on “French Court Says Google Not Liable For Infringing Works Uploaded To YouTube”

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CN says:

Re: This should not have even been allowed to go to trial.

I wonder if they’d be surprised if a court found them liable for trafficking if one of their advertisers is caught selling counterfeit goods.

Or if a someone walking by the studios drops some drugs or stolen goods onto their property. Should the studio be charged with a crime? No. Neither should YouTube.

Josef Anvil (profile) says:

They just won't die off fast enough

Beating a dead horse is really tiring. Maybe it will occur to the content industry, that their favorite business models are dying or dead.

I must say that I am really surprised that in the UK, at least one broadcaster, 4OD, has finally figured out that they have decades of programming that they now offer free on their website (with ads). Imagine that, monetizing content that has been doing nothing for years, instead of whining about piracy.

Pro Se (profile) says:

Re: Legal Fees

The general rule in the US is that each party bears its own costs unless a statute provides otherwise or the court, applying principles of equity established via “court made” law, so-called “common law”, determines that a case is sufficiently egregious that costs are appropriate under the circumstances.

Some countries assess costs in favor of a prevailing party as a routine matter. The US does not. There are, however, arguments in favor of both approaches, and in many instances each can impose a heavy, and at times an even unfair, burden on the parties.

Anonymous Coward says:

While US studios and TV networks can be considered a tad dull witted for thinking that they lose out through online sharing they at least sell into almost every market in the world and if we understand they just aren’t very bright we can see how simpletons could see sharing as being potentially damaging to their sales.
On the other hand, a non US non English language station can only benefit with an increased global awareness of their output, an awareness that can create sales where non existed before and you have to wonder why the hell they are so twisted around by the US copyright maximalist organisations that they actually take cases against people sharing when the sharing can only benefit them. That’s almost at the very bottom of the stupidity and ignorance levels, that’s a 1 GW Bush level of idiocy, a level below which it is impossible to measure.

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